CIVILIZING MOUNTAIN MEN
PCHES OF MISSION WORK AMONG
BY MR& HA SON
EDITED I'.V L. N. B.
Till: ROOK AMi ITS bTOiwY," " THE MI6SING LINK," ETC.
JAME8 NISBET & Co., 21, BERNERS STREET.
TO THE GOD OF ISRAEL
TniS RECORD IS HUMBLY OFFERED IN THANKSGIVING. MAY IT
PROVE A SILENT PLEADER FOR THE HEATHEN.
If the readers of this bright little book have as much
pleasure in its perusal as its English Editor has had,
they will have no reason to complain of the time they
bestow upon it. It is the Robinson Crusoe of Mis-
sions, and is directed, as most readable little books are,
very chiefly to the world of children ; but sensible,
grown-up people always like good children's books, and
we fairly confess that our sister from the green moun-
tains of Vermont has so bewitched us, that amid many
toils and pressing duties, in a land of civilization, we
have found it a daily refreshment to turn with her into
the jungles, and listen to the mountain echoes. We
have followed her steps over crag and hill, and reposed
with her in gorge and glen ; have gone out with her
Karens to fell timber for the Institute, or sat within
listening to her lively and practical Bible lessons, luxu-
riating always in all her tableaux tivans of the match-
less mountaineers, and truly, we are half sorry that our
task is over.
Stem critics have bid us part with the first chapter :
we can only say to the reader that when he has arrived
at the end of the book, he will return to it as a natural
Preface to the Mission work accomplished. For our-
selves, we like to know when such a " teacheress " was
"raised," as her countrymen would say. This work
for the Karens must have been done. This loving
leadership of the wild and untaught children of the
hills must have been undertaken, and the native poetry
of their peculiar history and character has found its
record from the sympathizing heart of woman; of a
woman made meet for the singular occasion.
Mrs. Mason fills her niche in the long line of Ame-
rica's noble sons and daughters, (how many
now gathered "to the shining shore,") who s^em t
have had appointed to them by their Master's hand,
and by consent of other Missionaries, the mighty privi-
lege of seeking and carrying the word of salvation to
the mysterious and scattered descendants of long-exiled
"Israel," — a privilege that bids us glory in the
Anglo-Saxon origin and language of the successful
explorers. For further details on this head, we must
refer the reader to our concluding chapter, and in our
Introduction confine ourselves to indicating what the
rest of the book is about.
It is chiefly the history of the raising of Self-sup-
porting Female Schools among the Karens, in which
shall be trained those village teachers and Bible-readers,
who shall spread everywhere the knowledge of the Lord
among a people prepared above all others by ancient
associations to receive it.
Mrs. Mason remarks, that teachers, as men, have
seldom the time and the patience to sit down on a low
seat with the ignorant, and say one simple truth over
and over, in varied ways.
If you would have Burmah redeemed to the Lord,
she adds, send woman to woman, and let her teach the
A B C of Christianity, which is mothers' work all the
world over : — " Moung Shway Moung is like Mount
Meru, very high ; he knows everything," say the
women of Burrnah, "but he can't talk woman talk;
we don't understand ;" therefore, if you want to teach
heathen women, begin with them as girls.
Now, this is what Mrs. Mason has done, amid many
"waitings, and watchings, and wearyings, ami heart-
achings." She has had the gift from God t>. ,-tir up
others to liberal donations and earnest labours in this
department. She has persuaded wild chiefs to choose
the cleverest girls of their clans, and bring them down
from the mountains to be educated, support bag them
and providing for their simple wants while undergoing
the process. The capacity and docility of the pupils
are amazing, and the result of their acquirement.-, ae
taught to others almost as soon as attained by them-
selves, is not a little marvellous. The true elevation of
woman by Christian education has been thus recogi
as a duty by the chiefs of seven tribes in Tounghoo.
So few people read a Preface, that we have sometimes
thought it is scarcely worth while to write one ; we
hasten, therefore, to dismiss our readers to their moun-
tain rambles, believing that they will return from them
most deeply interested in the hitherto despised and
outcast Karens, and willing to help in every way the
disinterested workers in that now important .Missionary
It may only be further necessary to remark, that the
name of the nation is pronounced Kar-rens, the first
syllable short ; and the appellation " mama," so fre-
quently used by the natives, is not pronounced as in
English, but contrariwise — mam-ma, the accent on the
L. N. R.
I. — Among the Green Mountains . . 1
II.— Halting* among the Cities and Waters of Mak-
taban ....... 14
III.— The Dong Yahn Conquerors — My Husband's
People ....... 28
IV.— Beginning of the Tounghoo Mission . 55
V.— TOUNGHOO, AND WHAT WE FOUND THERE . 78
VI. — The Minstrel and his Battle Song . 96
VII — First Christian School in Tounghoo . 105
VIII.— Karen Dress— Witchcraft— My Tutauman 116
I. — Going to India — not Overland
II. — The First Girls' School in Tounghoo
III. — Gathering up the Manna
IV. — Forming an Education Society
V. — Getting a Title Deed .
VI. — The Karen Canaan
VII. — Civilizing Mountain Men
VIII. — Establishing a Karen Ferry
IX. — Seeking Timber for the Institute
X. — Life in the "Woods
XI. — Conquering Difficulties
XII.— The Raising — the Pic-nic
XIII. — The Karen National Banner
XIV. — Help from England
XV. — The Tabernacle in the Mountains
XVI— The Mighty Hand in the Mountains
I. — Settling a Colony ..... 309
II. — Sketches of Karen Character . 318
III.— The "King of Tounghoo" . . . .334
IV. — Karen Soldiers ...... 345
V. — Conclusion — Deductions — the Fast of the Karen
Nation ... ... 359
AMONG THE GREEN MOUNTAINS.
When a child eleven years old, my mother always
gave me one hour a day for my own time. This was
invariably spent by the side of a wild mountain brook,
that came tumbling and dancing down through a grove
of birch-trees. It was a most companionable little
stream, clear as crystal, full of smooth white pebbles and
little speckled trout.
My brother fitted me up a small leafy alcove, carpeted
with scarlet lichens, close down to the margin, with my
pet flowers, the wild violet and the forget-me-not, all
around, and close by, a patch of those bright red winter-
oreen berries that all New England children know.
There the old family Bible was daily spread open at
Solomon's Prayer. There, too, the woods often echoed
with the " Sweet Bower of Prayer," while I dug
gold thread and made little golden skeins for baby
There, with the brook and the trout, I planned many
* The fibrous yellow roots of the three-leaved Hellebore, which
New England school children delight in.
2 BESIDE THE BROOK.
a castle, which then seemed as much beyond my grasp
as the moon ; yet, somehow or other, almost every plan
has been realized. The reason may have been, that
every castle had a Bible and a Bower of Prayer.
I don't know why I liked Solomon's Prayer so much
better than Agur's ; but young Solomon, the brave
Daniel, the good Samaritan, and the poor Publican, were
my favourites among Bible men ; with Deborah and
Mary Magdalen among the women. There were other
companions too. These were the letters of Ann H.
Judson and Harriet Newel ; and often did I turn the
old brown and yellow birches into Burmese and Hindu
girls. Many a time have I talked till tears came to
these imaginary heathen women, and then sung to them
ever so much more.
I loved my Bible, and I loved nature. It seemed a
great deal easier to pray out in a grove among the
mountains. I never wondered that Jesus went on to
the mountain to pray, or that Daniel kept his window
Even the great giant-looking larches of Canada had
a charm. They were real old Samsons, or Knights
Templars, all in their armour, as they lay so stiff, and
black, and awful, in the moonbeams, on the crusted
One time they were indeed awful to me. " Elder
Huntley," as everybody called my father,* was for more
than forty years a " Gospel Banger " among the hills of
Vermont, New Hampshire, and Canada ; and as soon as
* Leland Huntley.
A PRESERVATION. o
I was old enough, he took me into his cariole with him.
One time he had been out to hold a " Protracted Meet-
ing" in Lower Canada. We were returning; home at
midnight, through a tamarack swamp, winding leisurely
along the well-trodden wood road, my father thinking
of his sermons, and I covered head and eyes in the buf-
falo skins. Suddenly a strange sound : " Crazy Jane "
pricks up her ears. Again, faint, low, fearful. Instantly
Crazy Jane gave a bound that almost broke the traces.
My father heard it, and, with an anxious look at me, he
gave the startled creature the reins, when she flew over
the road as if chased by lightning. On came the boding
sound, nearer, nearer, clearer, clearer. A murmuring as
of many waters, a clear bark, a tremendous howl of a
whole pack of wolves ! " Oh, God, save papa ! Oh,
God, I will, I wall go ! " This was the earnest cry of
the moment, for I had no doubt but God was calling me
to work for the heathen ; yet deep and painful had been
the inward struggle, even at that early age, and I had
always answered, " I cannot leave mamma."
Crazy Jane had just time to leap into the open village
when the hungry wolves appeared on the skirts of the
forest, thanks to the Hearer of prayer.
" Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver
thee." This was the promise that came to me as I
nestled in the buffalo skins.
When but nine years old, there seemed to be some
propelling power ever pushing me on to Burmah. " Get
ready, I will call for thee," was for ever whispered in the
air. How I should get ready, was the difficult question.
4 EARLY STUDIES.
My father was a poor Baptist Minister ; he could not
help me. He loved the cause of missions ; hut he was
poor, for he gave all his time and talents for others ;
and so did my faithful, self-denying, and beautiful
The first effort toward my undertaking was made in
flowering oil-cloths, by which I bought myself a gram-
mar, when thirteen years old. I had never had any
school books but a spelling book and "English Reader ;"
but I had read, and thought, more than many children.
I borrowed a geography, and studied it open in the
window, while I rinsed the cups and saucers, standing
upon a stool beside the table. " Milton's Paradise Lost,"
"Young's Night Thoughts," " Pollok's Course of Time,"
" Thomson's Seasons," these were among the graver
books that had charmed me till midnight over my pine
torches — I could not afford candles — so my brother,
dear, kind little fellow that he was, would, every few
days, lay before me a votive offering of pitch pine-knots
from the plains ; and it was by the light of these that I
read two thick volumes of moral philosophy, and studied
the fragments of a copy of Josephus, found on the shelf
of some old book store. After securing the grammar, I
obtained permission to leave home for a few months, as
companion to a doctor's wife. It was one evening while
with her, that I found a large volume of the " Arabian
Nights " in my bed-room. I had never seen it before,
and, of course, strained my eager eyes over it till the
long candle was burned to the socket. The next night
the " Arabian Nights " was gone, and a Missionary
THE RESOLVE. 5
Magazine lay there. I took it up, a little vexed to lose
the stories ; opened it, and the first thing that struck
me was the " Journal of Francis Mason."
Next Saturday night I said, " Papa, I must go to
Burmah." I had often spoken of going, but my father
had never believed me serious, and always called it
" El's wild scheme." Now he looked at me with the
deepest earnestness of his grave eye, and uttered not a
word. From that time he never opposed, never ridi-
culed ; and my mother — my dear, fond mother — expected
me to go some time.
It was very near where the Fairfax Literary Institu-
tion now stands that I first read that journal which
threw a spell, a strange, drawing spell, over all my future.
With the money the doctor's wife gave for my little
services, my bill was paid at a select school, where I
made my first attempt at model letter-writing. I re-
member it perfectly, the old yellow page ruled down the
side, leaving an inch maro;in, and be<nnnino\ as all
models did, " I take my pen in hand," &c. I can see
her now, that tall, straight schoolma'am, so shocked
when I said, "Oh, Miss Sage, I can never get this
right ; please let me write my mother a real letter."
I wanted to tell her I had got her a new cap ribbon.
It was the first thing I had ever earned for her with my
own hands, and I was all on tip-toe to show her what I
thought the daintiest little ribbon in the world. Miss
Sage bade me write my copy, and learn propriety — a
thing I have been trying to learn ever since.
I can't tell you, reader, half the things about getting
6 SCHOOL-TEACHING IN AMERICA.
ready, graved in burning lines upon my own memory,
but if you will glance at two or three dissolving views,
they will fling a few faint lights over the shadowy past.
I speak of these persona! Bcenes only to show you that
God does honour trust and works, and allows our best
hopes to be realized.
Making way through drifted snows, boys shoveling
the road, a young girl has prepared breakfast for five
little brothers and sisters, has dressed them, put the
house in order, and is on her way to the school-room,
where she has a charge of some forty children, young
men and young women. Her father and mother are on
a mission to the Isles of Lake Champlain, and are ice-
bound. They cannot know the load on their daughter's
heart ; they could not reach her tf they did. She is
sixteen years old — is striving for Burmah.
" Ye shall reap if 'ye faint not''
It was among the lumber' 34 ' men on Lake Champlain,
close upon the romantic waters of Lake George, over
which I have glided for hours in a little log boat, steered
by lumber women, catching the yellow perch and trout
which we could see through the lake clear to the bottom.
It was a missionary undertaking, for they had no church,
no tract visitors, no school of any kind within many
miles. It was Sunday. I had called on all the mothers,
and now they came dropping in, leading their little ones.
* "Lumber: in America, timber sawed or split for use." —
EARLY STRUGGLES. 7
The room was fragrant with flowers, and Bible-pictures
hung on the wall. We had just sung —
" There is a land of pure delight."
Who is that ? A fine-looking man, the superinten-
dent of the colony, appears, steps to the open door.
"Miss Huntley, may — may we come in?" and eight or
ten strong-souled men in their checked shirts are waiting
admittance. A stammering " Yes, if you '11 help us,"
was given, and I am sure no one can tell, but the angels,
what delightful Bible readings we there enjoyed, amidst
the log cabins, partitioned only with blankets, glazed
with paper, and made habitable by huge altar-like pillars
of stone in the middle for chimneys.
What is the matter ? why does the young girl tremble
" Children, you may go home." And she sits an hour,
helpless, shaking with ague, then recovers and creeps
home. The next day tries again ; but every other day
these honors return ; so for two years she struggles on ;
thin, pale, weak, suffering as only one can suffer with
the terrible lake fever and ague. It is the effect of the
miasma of the lumber region.
At last the goal is reached, — a female seminary where
she may quench her burning thirst for knowledge.
Months pass : " Miss S ," she asks, one morning,
in faltering tones, " may I go home ? I have no more
money, and I can't bear to give up now when the term
is so near over." She had been living three months on
a trifle over five dollars, boarding herself.
8 HOME, SWEET HOME.
" Why do you go home V
" I have a dear brother ; possibly he may help me."
" How are you going?"
" On foot."
"On foot! How far is it?"
" Twelve miles !"
" Twelve miles ! Why, child, you can't travel twelve
miles. You 'd better send for your brother."
" He cannot come. Only say I may go."
A reluctant consent is given. The young girl starts
She draws her belt very tight, for she is hungry. She
has tasted no supper, no breakfast ; scarcely anything
for a whole week but a loaf of bread. Not a cent is
left ; but she cannot beg.
" Good morning, Ellen. Come back soon/' says her
" Good morning, Miss S ." When you are hun-
gry, may God feed you, she prays inwardly, and departs.
Longer and longer seems that weary way. Now up a
steep, hard hill, now stretching like a narrow line away
over the plains. She comes to a river; the bridge is
gone ; she enters in, is carried down, struggles, reaches
the bank, walks on, comes to another, fords it.
What is the matter ? She cannot see ; everything
swims ; she falls, revives, and creeps up on to the steps
of an old church — prays for strength, prays for Burmah.
At ten o'clock she sees the light glimmering from her
mother's window, falls upon the steps, returns to con-
sciousness, is lying in her own little room. Her tender
SCENES BEYOND. 9
mother is charing her brows, the big tears chasing each
other down silently, while little hands are holding cups
of hot tea and gruel, murmuring out, —
" Sissy not die. God takes care of sister."
" For I say unto you, that their angels do always
behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."
There are other scenes behind. Higher and higher
swell the waters, keener and keener grows the anguish ;
but purer the longings, sweeter the peace.
See you that young girl's eye ? Mark you the pent-
up agony ? She holds a newspaper ; the superscription is
her lover's ; she knows there are burning words within
that wrapper. The spirit longs, thirsts for their sweet
sympathy, for she is a stranger in a strange circle.
" Must I leave it?" she asks herself, pressing her
temples. Yes, her purse is empty, utterly empty. Those
rainbowed, precious words must go to the dead-letter
office. She lays it back — that dear, dear handwriting —
that radiant hand. She turns and leaves it there,
crushing down agony for heathen women.
What hand that upon the burning brow ? A letter.
It opens. Out falls a bank bill— the most beautiful,
shining bank bill ever made. Who sent it ? The Angel
of the Lord sent it. By whom ? Ask the loved teacher,
now Mrs. Nott, of Schenectady, and her Persis-like sister,
Miss C. Sheldon, of Philadelphia. The Lord told them
to send it. May He tell somebody to send them beautiful
bank bills if they ever need them !
10 A MISSIONARY S WELCOME.
Another scene. A school group — but not a white
group. There are mountains, but not the old green
mountains. There are trees, but not the birches, the
beeches, the spruces of her childhood. There are flowers,
but not the daisies and honeysuckles of her fatherland.
Her pupils are black-eyed, bronze-coloured girls, boys,
men, and women. The trees are the light bamboos arching
over them, and each mountain has a spire, a tall beacon
spire all alone — it is a Buddhist pagoda, and that land
When I first stepped upon the shore of India, it was
at Maulmain. The Bev. Dr. Judson kindly met our
large party at the quay, and, giving me his arm, led me
through a long line of native Christians to his own door.
My own emotions on reaching a heathen land were per-
fectly overpowering. I could not speak. 1 could do
nothing but weep.
It was the remembrance of my childish yearnings,
and of God's infinite goodness, that so overpowered me on
reaching a pagan land. The letters, the journal, the
old family Bible, the "gold thread," the wee sisters' eyes,
all came back with the last, last kisses of a home, and
the deep love of the tenderest of mothers that I was
never to see again. Then I heard those strange old
household names, Mah, Dokes, Menlas, and a host of
others, all verily living beings before me ! Dr. Judson's
princely brow too ! Was 1 indeed in the body or out of
It was truly a strange linking of circumstances, that
the writings of Dr. Judson's wife should first have stirred
SYMPATHY OF DR. JUDSON. 11
my soul for Burmah, and then that his lips should have
been the first to greet me, and his arm the first offered
me to lean upon. It was strange that Mr. Mason
should have united him with his loved Sarah, and then
that Dr. Judson should have performed the same service
for us at a day long after this. I had been married to
Mr. Bullard some time before I left America.
Heat, bilge-water, destitution of milk, and of every
comfort for my babe, in the six-foot cabin of a merchant
ship for nearly five long months, had induced extreme
weakness and inflammation in my eyes.
It was during these weeks of intense suffering, just
after reaching Burmah, that I learned the real kind-
heartedness and self-forgetting spirit of Dr. Judson.
Full of anxious desire to speak to the women, it was
hard to do nothing ! I had not then learned to wait as
now. Dr. Judson saw it, and seemed to give me a
special corner in his warrn heart, for after we left
his house, which he would not allow for many days,
about two o'clock daily I would hear his military-like
step, and feel the sympathizing grasp of his dear hand
as he drew me down beside him, and made me forget
past sufferings and present agony in his inimitable man-
ner, language, and stories. With him I lived over the
whole past history of the mission, and much of its hidden
One day he was telling me of a lady who always
greeted the native women with, " ' Ma-a-lah — H-o-w-
d-ye?' drawing it," he said, "clear across the room
in her everlasting rocking chair." Another spent nearly
12 THEN AND NOW.
her whole time in making pills, smelling bottles, and
plasters for the natives! "What wonder," he would
ask, " that both gave up and went home ?"
The proper medium line between indifference and un-
due anxiety in regard to the physical wants of the
heathen, — this was what Dr. Judson was endeavouring
to impress upon me, and what he never lost sight of. I
loved him ever after as my own father, for it was no
small stlf denial for a man of Lis experience and hia duties
to lay all aside and sit down daily to instruct an inex-
perienced Missionary woman. His exquisite tact, too, won
my most profound reverence, while his gay good humour
taught me the secret uf g.x.d health in Burmah.
It was seventeen year- ago that I sat there the won-
dering pupil of Adoniram Judson. Alas, the changes !
Then Sarah B. Judson was there, always so gentle and
loving in her pretty pink or white wrapper, and often
she would call me to accompany her when she took aside
the native Christians to settle their petty difficulties in
her prayer room. Then Fanny Forrester was struggling
upward in Utica. My husband, Mr. Bullard, was with
us, and Mr. Mason was with his little Maria and her
mother in Tavoy.
Now, where are we all ? What a changing, painful
drama ! Dr. Judson's Sarah on the rock of the sea,
himself in his ocean coffin ; his Emily triumphant over
her sharp mission conflict ; sweet Maria and her loved
mamma passed into heaven ; Mr. Mason in a region then
unexplored, translating the Bible into a language then
unknown ; Little " Enna " Judson, who used to come
THEN AND NOW. IS
in to rock " Baby Ella," now proclaiming the Gospel for
his father ; Baby Ella wandering over half the globe, a
teacher to heathen women ; while her adored father,
who would have given his life for either of us, is calmly
sleeping by the Salwen,* and I struggle on amidst in-
numerable hindrances for the same great work for which
Anna H. Judson died, viz., the establishment of Woman's
Mission in Heathen Lands.
* Mr. I3ullard died at Maulmain, April 5th, 1847.
II ALTINGS AMONG THE CITIES AND WATERS OF MARTABAN.
"The Golden Waters! The Golden Waters !" all
exclaimed in raptures, as the good ship Charles swept
round into the Gulf of Martaban, and along its semi-
circled shore of wild adventure and Christian toil. Four
sun-lit streams roll their waters into this lovely scallop
of the ocean. First, on the right, comes pouring the
noble Salwen, with the city of Martaban on one side, and
Maulmain on the other. Farther round, the Sittang,
with the city of Sittang ; then Pegu, with its antique
ruins ; and still beyond the Irrawaddy, with the cities of
Rangoon and Bassein.
The first city of importance on this coast is Ran.
— Lord Dalhousie's enchanted garden — which, under
Coi. Phayre, is rapidly becoming one indeed. It resem-
bles the modern portion of New York. I did not learn
the number of streets, but saw one marked, I think, the
fifty- third. The principal streets are parallel with each
other, very broad, and nicely macadamized. Along these.
in the business part of the town, stucco buildings are
rapidly running up in simple Grecian style, with flat
roofs and # Ionic pillars. The officers and civilians erect
beautiful teak bungalows in the environs, surrounded by
tall forest trees.
To the north there is a romantic drive through a wide
tract of woodland, out to old Kemendine. There the
numerous clusters of snowy tents whitening the land-
scape, with the broad Irrawaddy pouring its silver spouts
around, make it truly, to the artist's eye, enchanted
ground. This drive to Kemendine also leads to what is
intended to become the Binney College, just founded by
three benevolent gentlemen in Philadelphia, Wm. Buck-
nell, Esq., W. C. Mackintosh, Esq., and David Jayne,
M.D. Mr. Bucknell invited Dr. Binney to undertake
this enterprise, and he with the other two have ever
since sent him a personal support of 1,200 dollars, or
i?250, per annum. This is nobly done, and now, if the
founders go on, endow the college and make it perma-
nent, it will be an honour to the denomination, an
honour to their country, and an inestimable blessing to the
Karen tribes through all time. Both Dr. and Mrs. Binney
possess a magic power over their pupils. There is also a
Theological School in the same buildings, all under the
patronage of the American Baptist Missionary Union.
There are two other schools of importance at this
station, a Preparatory English and Vernacular School,
aided much by Government, under Mrs. Vinton, a lady
who has prepared many valuable books in Karen, and
whose hymns will be chanted over the Karen hills when
she shall be harping with the harpers. Another Normal
School is in charge of the Rev. D. L. Brayton. This is
for the Pwo Karens. It is taught in the vernacular, and
16 missionaries' children.
is dependent upon voluntary aid for support. Both Mr.
and Mrs. Brayton, and their daughter, Mrs. Rose, are
teachers of long experience, and their school really merits
sympathy and support.
Not far from this station is a most hopeful mission
under Mrs. Ingalls, widow of the late Rev. Lovell In-
galls. This is a mission to the Burmese as well as to
the Karens, and the very remarkable success of our lone
friend proves that woman's sympathy, patience, and quiet
perseverance may tell more upon the hearts of heathen
men than even public preaching. Mrs. Knap, also a
widow lady there, is another of our silent coral workers.
This friend greatly aided Mrs. Brandis, sister of Lady
Havelock, in establishing the Burmah Female School
Society, and a day school for girls in Rangoon.*
Seven children of the Burman Missionaries have en-
tered upon the same service. How cheering it is to see
a mission receiving back its own sons and daughters to
stay up the hands of their parents ! May the time come
when it will be understood that this is the duty of Mis-
sionaries' children, rather than to seek ease and civilized
* Messrs. Stevens and Dawson are in charge of the Burman De-
partment of Rangoon, and Mr. Vinton, son of the late Missionary
Vinton, is a preacher in the Karen Department. Doctor and Mrs.
Wade are the oldest Missionaries on the coast. They are at Maul-
main, working on with all their rich experience as earnestly as ever,
with Messrs. Bennett and Has well, and J. Haswell, Jr.
There are also American Missionaries on all these rivers, except
Pegu : Messrs. Kincaid and Simons at Prome, Messrs. Thomas and
Crawley at Henthada, Messrs. Beecher and Vanmeter at Bassein, Mr.
Harris at Shwagyn, and Messrs. Mason, Cross, and Bixby, at Tounghoo.
OPHIR OF THE ANCIENTS. 17
comforts for themselves, while their fathers and mothers
faint under their burdens alone.
In all, there are on the Burmah coast twenty-two
American Missionary families, with about four hundred
and fifty native preachers and schoolmasters, and some
twenty-six thousand baptized converts. Of these, about
five hundred and fifty are Burmese and Takings, and
twenty-two of them are preachers ; the others are mostly
Karens. The population of Rangoon is about thirty
Now, reader, would you believe these Pegu waters and
lands to be the veritable Ophir of the Ancients, and the
real old Byssinga of the Alexandrian geographers ? My
word-loving husband says so, and you will find some
pretty strong proof of it in his book on Burmah.
I can almost see the strange old Phoenician craft and
banner floating still before me ; King Solomon's boys
chasing each other over the ridges after peacocks for
Queen Belkis, and King Hiram's sailors plying up the
rivers for Almug-trees. Yes, truly, I have to look round
to see if these old Tyrians are not now washing out the
gold for the basins, the tongs, and the pomegranates.
Who knows but the Tyrian king did send a colony over
to these rivers ? The Talaings look enough like the old
Theban mummies to be their brothers. I saw mummy
heads from Thebes in the Academy of Natural Sciences
in Philadelphia, that in form were as near as possible
like Talaings. They are known to be the oldest race on
this coast, and Dr. Mason thinks them related to the
Koles of Hindustan by their language. Evidently their
18 PAGODAS OF MAULMAIN.
first simple faith was rock-worship, like that of the
Koles, the Santals of India, the ancient Peruvians, who
set up an emerald as a goddess, and the Arabs.
Going over the mountains once, near Siam, we were
passing a cairn like those of the Highland Scots, when I
noticed that every Taking with me stopped and threw a
stone on to the pile.
" What is that for V I asked.
" Oh, nothing. A spirit lives here." This was all
If it takes as long to Christianize Burmah as it did
to turn it to Buddhism, it will be a task for the millen-
nium. Twelve hundred years they had to work, accord-
ing to their account, before Buddhism became the national
religion of Burmah.
But for real enchanted ground we must go over to
Maulmain. Here pagodas ! pagodas ! shooting up on
every mountain peak, from twenty to three hundred and
sixty feet high, like colonnades of gold, in burning, pris-
matic radiancy. And such foundations ! Terrace upon
terrace. The highest plateau is eight hundred feet in
circumference, and the lower more than one thousand
eight hundred feet, tapering up so like old Belis' feet.
Perchance some Layard may yet join them into inter-
national links. But just to think how tired these strict
religionists must be to climb such long flights of steps to
church — five hundred, seven hundred, and nine hundred
steps ! The pagoda of the Aing Pass is said to have
nine hundred and seventy stone steps.
Some of the pagodas are walled, others not. One in
Paghan was barricaded with a wall upheld by stuccoed
elephants, after the style of that vestige of a ruin
called the " Diamond Gate " in western India, indi-
cating a relationship between the architects of the two
There are two kinds of pagodas. The common one is
a sacred structure ; it is octagonal, and built of solid
masonry, with a small gold or silver god and charmed
scroll morticed up within. The other is a monument in
honour of some prince. This is arched, generally of a
quadrangular form, with four gateways, a dome in the
centre, and vaulted galleries running round the interior.
Syms tells of the ruins of a pagoda of the latter descrip-
tion in the northern part of Burmah, with walls and aisles
of eighty feet in height. There is a .smaller one in
Tounghoo, which, it is said, contains a royal urn ; but
the royal god that graced the dome now sits in the
Hartford Museum in Connecticut.
Look upon one of these illuminated zadees, as I have
done, at evening. Listen to the soft breathing of the
wind-bells on the tee, the umbrella of the top ; think of
the mysterious scroll, the hidden god, the enchanted
hieroglyphics. Watch the lights and shadows of the
burnished spire, glimmering and mingling with those of
the vaulted aisles, which come flashing out upon the
glaring enamelled eyes of griffins and lions, lighting up
the many-coloured scales of serpents and dragons, then
vanishing in gloom, as the winds rush through the cor-
ridors, and you will not wonder that the natives are awed
by the strange, dreamy effect.
20 MOUNT RAMA.
Directly over Dr. Judson's house in Maulmain was
Mount Rama. This is the Pali name for Maulmain,
and the mountain is a lovely undulating line of slate and
sandstone, which divides the old and new town. On a
plateau, many hundred feet in circumference, rises Payah
Pu, the principal pagoda of Maulmain. Opening up to
this are four gateways, fifteen feet in width, guarded by
huge lions with enormous glass eyes.
Upon the north stands a Tomb temple, with an image
of Gaudama. It is crowned with Mosaic work represent-
ing an antique tiara or royal horn of magnificent eme-
ralds. His god-ship is lying upon a Mosaic catafalque,
his head resting upon twelve Mosaic pillows, over a large
lotus, held as sacred here as in Egypt. Around him six
crowned apostles, twelve feet high, standing on elevated
pedestals, like so many stylites all in gold, with the right
hand laid reverently upon the breast. Peering over the
feet is the sacred hydra, with its dilated hood, while the
immense coil of the serpent, glistening with enamelled
scales, serves as a pedestal for one of the statues.
In a niche at the entrance of this temple is a female
figure, in a sitting posture, and, Eve-like, covering her
person with her long black tresses.
Just under the shadow of the cliff stands another tem-
ple, with the Foot of Gaudama, which everybody knows.
The roof of this foot-shrine is a perfect forest of pin-
nacles, while over the low oriental portal stand two
supernatural warders, with terribly large searching eyes.
The vaulted ceiling has a representation of the zodiac,
which struck me as very like the pictures I had seen of
A MOUNTAIN VIEW. 21
Dendera. The roof and cornices are, like the old Greek
temples, adorned with tracery and vermillion, and the
low pedestals are modelled into lilies, some of them let-
tered with the donors' names.
I have seen in a temple of Tavoy an oriental tableau
of Gaudama, previous to his becoming a god. He is
represented as prostrate on the ground, humbling himself
into a flag stone, while Dobindea, the former Buddh,
with his troop of begging boys, is walking over him.
This act of deep humility was one of the principal deeds
of merit that secured to him his divinity. There is
another temple there, shaped precisely like the famed
" Paradise" of Western India, and containing a statue
of the last Buddh Dobindea.
Go up on to this plateau. A poem, a very poem, you
exclaim at once, made up of natural stanzas, with the
music all set. First comes Martaban, with the lofty
Zingabat mountains, the classic vale of Thadung, the
Dong Yahn fortress looming over its mourning river,
wide forests and savannas, and the temple mountain of
Damathat, shooting up in natural Gothic. Then come
the Atteran, the Salwen, the Gayng, linking among the
cliffs, and silvering the prairies ; far- stretching Thanee,
all buried in half-tints ; while Maulmain lies in the
foreground, forcing its way up the hills, amid groves of
palms, cocoa-nuts, bananas, tamarinds, mangoes, citrons,
papayas, and pumpalows ; and each face of the mountain
is alive with convents, temples, pillars, turrets, altars,
idols, and pagodaettes, as if multiplied by a Lysippus
hand, bristling; among ever-blooming avenues. Here
and there, also, rises a guardian group of statues, or the
hideous Belu, who, history states, were Gaudama's body-
guard ; and one can believe it, for they are for ever pre-
sent — the real Scandinavian Mernining, or the Beer-
seeker of the Scalds. Everywhere winding up the
mountain, are trains of priests, with their bald pat
tonsures, with here and there a priestess, in her floating
white mantle, counting her rosary, gliding in at some
monastery, or half concealing herself behind the lemon-
It was the festival of the New Year, and the Pagoda
Bath Day, which interested me particularly. Tin- fes-
tival occurs annually, like the Grecian days for bathing
the statues of Minerva.
The young men were clad in their long silk pal
girded up over their tattoo-imitation pantalooi -
thrown gracefully over the shoulder, while their bug
hair, black and glossy, was neatly braided with white
muslin fillets so as to pass for the eagle-plumed bonnet,
and with their scarlet sandals, they seemed to look upon
themselves as perfectly irresistible.
Each carried two small jars of clear water nicely covered
with fresh plantain leaves, on which lay a small silver
goblet. A curious sight it was to see the whole city,
men, women, and children, doing battle with the fierce
ardor of Trojans, and all with the same dashing weapon
— cold water. The young women, I believe, had come
off conquerors, and taken the young men prisoners, who
were compelled into the service of the gods ; and while
they carried water, the maidens bore a web of sacred
SHEN T OBOOGOKE. 23
cloth, extending a quarter of a mile in length, like a
line of golden cloud. They were going to drape the
large pagoda, or give Payah Pu a new turban.
At night the whole city was magnificently illuminated.
The great Pagoda was encircled with rings of little festal
lamps from the base almost to the summit. Mount
Rama was covered with colonnades of lights, every street
bordered with flame, and illuminated arches rose before
every door — for the same reason that the ancient Britons
made bonfires on New Year's Day, to drive away evil
spirits, as the Jews, Sabians, Vestals of Rome, and other
nations have done.
These decorations continue fifteen days ; but the
grandest illumination follows the regattas in October,
after the ninety days' Lent. Then, soon after sunset,
cannons fire, serpents run through the air, coloured lan-
terns are wafted overhead, while innumerable tongues of
flame are floated on bits of plantain stems down the
rivers, quite covering their surface from China to the
Indian Ocean, offerings to Shen Oboogoke, the Neptune
of Burmah. It is doubtful if the old god received any
grander honours from classic Athenians than the Tala-
injrs and Burmans rive him here on their illuminated
Sometimes there comes sailing down a little pagoda
fancifully lit up, constructed of delicate wicker-work ;
and once I saw passing, on the Sittang river, a sitting
Gaudama, braided in the same manner, like the old
wicker deities of the Druids, of life size or larger, with a
beautiful tiara imitative of coloured gems, and holding
24 A TABLEAU.
in his hand a wicker rice-pot, which shone in the dim-
ness like a great bowl of gold.
Shen Oboogoke is said to dwell in a leaden palace
under the sea. He receives special homage from the
Burmese and Takings ; and their sailors, when embark-
ing on a voyage, offer him a turtle. So, one season in
a time of drought in Tavoy, he was honoured with a
fountain and a pair of leaden fishes, at the side of the
court-house, where the people poured water daily, and
offered prayers for rain, sending up showers of cotton
This grand water-festival is closed with entertain-
ments and music, when the wild, varied harmony of
their numerous instruments is blended with the crying,
thrilling kyzoup, with the glee-maidens clapping their
castanets; the screaming of the minstrels, the shrieking
of the trumpets, and the pounding of the drums, all
mingled in one tremendous detonation.
The Burmese call music the language of the gods, but
from the bubbling, shrieking, crashing sounds of their fes-
tivals, one would suppose it must be the language of the
Dii Inferni ; yet there are passages in their softer airs
melodious, pathetic, and subduing.
The Burmah maidens were certainly attractive on this
festival day, flitting amid festooned arches. Their grace-
ful forms were set off by yellow silk robes of circling
stripes, with crimson cinctures and black lace jackets
fitting close to the bust, with rose satin scarves, and
exquisitely- wrought gold chains ; just such, according
to antiquarians, as were once worn by the honourable
the infant's song. 25
women of the British Isles in the days of the Druids.
They also wore gold ear knobs, bracelets, and bangles,
brocaded sandals, and their coal-black hair wreathed
with golden champac, rose-buds, or the delicate rnimusops.
Altogether they presented a most picturesque tableau
vivant. Many had made free use of cosmetics, and
were chalk-white ; others would rival the purest bronze
antiques, while in the fine chiseling of their features
some of them would lose little beside the classic models
It was in passing down from Mount Rama that I met
a coffin — a very little coffin — followed by a Christian
mother. Beyond were a group of heathen women also
burying an infant. I could but contrast the emotions
of the two mothers, the one believing her little one for
ever wandering in unrest, lost in dismal swamps, tired
and hungry, while the Christian mother could look up to
the pure blue sky. I could but ask, Who hath made them
to differ ? But thought followed the little spirits up-
ward, until there fell these low, tremulous murmurings
from the Infant Paradise. It was long before I could
catch the song, for it came only in snatches of the
faintest trillings upon the air.
AN INFANT TO ITS CHRISTIAN MOTHER AFTER
ITS FIRST DAY IN HEAVEN.
What beautiful music is waving along !
It trances my senses, it bathes me in song ;
Now around me, now o'er me, again and again,
Does its low rolling cadence steal over the plain.
26 the infant's song.
Is this the sweet tuning of seraphs who sing
While crowns are fast shower d at the feet of their King ?
Is this, mother, that heaven afar in the skies,
Where so oftentimes turn'd were your sweet, loving eyes ?
Yes, yes, this is heaven I've enter'd to-day,
For the angels are singing wherever I stray ;
It was only this morning I found I had wings,
5 • t I've seen, oh I've seen, ma, such wonderful things !
My soul, when unfetter' d from that little clay
That now you are laying so gently away,
Oh, how it expanded ! what Bpeech b»> I knew
As with gladness and wonder far upward I flew !
5 ching the deep azure sky,
A i onvoy of spirits appear' d from on high ;
And " Hail, little hrother!" cried one \< ry bright,
As, embracing, he veil'd me in robes of pure white.
'Twas Calla, dear Calla, 'mid that smiling band,
With a wreath on his brow, and a harp in his hand :
Oh, that you, mother dear, could have seen hi* bright
Look down on me so loving, like stars in the skies !
Quick speeding me onward, said he, " Come, behold,
High floating in blue, the great City of Gold,
With its walls of pure jasper, and all precious stones,
That around it lie blazing in radiant zones.
"And a throne of pure sapphire, on which sits above
The adorable Saviour, all shining in love ;
Yet with manner more regal than mightiest king,
And oh, how the rainbows around Him do spring ! "
Then open'd the portals, and up to the throne
The good angels bare me — I was not alone —
And He spake to me kindly, and welcomed me home,
Saying, " Yes, little spirit, yes, yes, you may come."
the infant's song. 27
Now peal'd from the harpers a triumphing strain,
" All worthy the Lamb who for sinners was slain ! "
And now it rose softly from newly-born powers,
On a mount ever blooming, o'erwoven with flowers.
sweet, they have told me, earth's murmuring shades,
And pure the still waters that silver its glades ;
Yet sweeter, far sweeter, these blest spirits say,
Are the zephyrs and* streamlets here warbling away.
But hark ! mother, heard you the little ones' feet ?
'Tis the Saviour ! the Saviour ! they 're running to meet ;
1 '11 go, then, and wait for you, sweet mother dear !
And you '11 come very cpuck, we 're so happy up here !
THE DONG YAHN CONQUERORS. MY HUSBAND'S PEOPLE.
Looking from Mount Rama toward the north, we see
shooting up a limestone peak, called by the English the
Duke of York's Nose. I don't know how it came by
this strange title, hut the Talaings have not given it a
better. They named it Zwagabang — the Boat Mooring,
and tell tales of a time when the waters came up over
that peak ; that there was just one boat seen on the
waters, and when they began to go down, the sailors tied
it up there to this great nose.
This mountain is in Dong Yahn, on the Salwen river,
twenty-five miles north of Maulmain, a place which
became our home for four years. The country round is
the Canaan of Pegu, one of the richest rice-growing
valleys in Burmah, full of fruit-trees, encircled by charm-
ing hills, and covering a large extent of territory.
It was under the high rock-fortress of Don<r Yahn
that I took a sketch of Guapung, a noble Karen woman,
a descendant of one of the Pwo princes who had invaded
this region ; she had an interesting niece, who bore,
however, the frightful name " Halter." Halter's mother
was taken captive by the Siamese in a skirmish which
A STOKY. 29
took place, about the year 1811, between them and the
people of Khan Koming, when the enemy carried nearly
all into captivity. Her mother was corded by the neck
to another woman, as all the rest were, two and two ;
their hands bound behind them, and the poor prisoners
goaded on without mercy. Seeing that this woman could
not possibly proceed, they left her upon the road, where,
a few minutes after, the infant Halter was born, and so
named to commemorate the dreadful scene. The little
brother, an only son, the mother beheld pricked on
by the robbers, the poor little fellow frantic with grief
and terror. She never saw him again. Indeed, there
was no end to the sufferings of these poor Karens, who
were always hunted by the Burmese, Talaings, and
Siamese, until the English, whom they call the " Sons
of God/' gave them peace and protection.
There is a stirring tale connected with this wild home
of ours in the wilderness.
One day Guapung was in a shanty by the Salwen
river, when she saw a " Flying Ship" come up the river.
It was about the year 1827. She ran down to see the
" Flying Ship," when a tall, handsome, white foreigner
stepped on shore, and, coming right up to her, extended
his hand, asking in Burmese if she was well.
" Ma, th'kyen — well, my lord," — she replied with
native grace. The stranger had only time to ask after
her business, and say, " Go in peace," when he returned
to the Flying Ship, and she stood gazing after him in
Soon her brothers came, and she said : —
30 THE WHITE FOREIGNER,
" I 've seen one of the sons of God ! "
" Did he speak ? "
" Yes, and he gave me his hand."
" Did you take the hand of a foreigner ? "
" Yes, for he looked like an Aing" (angel).
"Would 'Worship- Face' had been here with his
golden arrow ! "
" Nay, but I 'm not ashamed," insisted Guapung —
"Aunt or Lady Pung." The name indicates a notable
housewife, as she was, and so were all her daughters
The brothers took her home to A Wah — "White
Patriarch" — the highest chief or king of Dong Yahn.
He was a heathen, and though he adored his beautiful
Guapung, his jealousy was aroused, and he beat her, as
he often did in a fit of drunkenness. That night she
was called to attend the ceremony of the " Dead Bone
" No," said this modern Semiramis — for she wae
indeed, in majestic beauty, with the finest brow and
richest eyes ever created — " no, ever since I was a child
I have served Satan and Shen Gaudama, yet they have
never stopped my husband from beating me once. This
white man spoke to me kindly, and gave me his hand.
His God must be The God. Hereafter I worship Him."
True to her purpose, she began that very night to
pray to the Unknown God of the white foreigner, and
this was her prayer : —
" Great Aing ! Mighty Judge, Father God, Lord'
God, Uncle or Honourable God, the Righteous One!
PITY HEATHEN WOMEN. 31
In the heavens, in the earth, in the mountains, in the
seas, in the north, in the south, in the east, in the west,
pity me I pray ! Show me thy glory, that I may know
thee who thou art !"
This prayer, she told me, she prayed for several years,
I think five years, never once again making offerings
to idols or demons. After a long time, another white
teacher visited her village, when she ran and sat down
at his feet for nine days. Then a white woman appeared,
that indefatigable American, Phoebe, Eleanor Macomber,
whom Guapung hailed as almost divine, and escorted
her home, as, she said, "their goddess, right from the
heavens, come to deliver the women of Dong Yahn from
their oppressive masters;" and indeed she did, under
God, for the arrack pots were soon cast out, and the
men, from being a whole village of bacchanalians, became
a sober, God-fearing people.
Guapung, with Miss Macomber, was the means of
raising up in Dong Yahn a flourishing Christian church,
that became the parent of two other Pwo churches which
Mr. Bullard organized in that province. All this was
the result of a little human sympathy towards woman.
Guapung felt that, in her land, woman was regarded as
a slave, fit only to bear burdens, and never walk beside
her husband or brothers ; and this was why the simple
act of giving the hand left such an indelible impression.
Verily, this was Dr. Judson's Great Sermon, for it was
he who gave the hand ; and if his ransomed soul could
now speak down from the spirit land, would he not say
to his brethren, " Pity Heathen Women I "
32 SELF-SXTPPOBTDTG PASTORS.
This Christian body in Dong Yalm was the first to
build its own chapel, which was once or twice burned by
the heathen. It was the first to support its own pastor,
to send forth a Missionary, and the first to sustain a
schoolmistress; indeed, the only district school reported
in the Maulmain province for 18(iO has been sustained
all these years through the perseverance of Guapung.
This remarkable woman, more than any other person,
brought about my husband's plan.
It was the Rev. Edwin Bullard. then in charge of the
Pwo Karen department of the Maulmain Mission, under
the American Baptist Missionary Convention, who first
introduced and established a self-sustaining Ministry
among the Karens of Burmab, a plan which has already
saved tie Missionary Union more than a hundred thou-
The recommendation to support their own preachers
was met by a shower of indignant reproaches, for at that
time all pastors and preachers were being regularly paid
by the mission. — in Maulmain, seven rupees the month ;
in Arracan, Rangoon, and Bassein, the same or more ;
and in Tavoy four, the lowest of all.
I well recollect the morning when this subject came
up. Mr. Bullard had been preaching in Karen a very
searching sermon on the subject of presenting their
bodies a living sacrifice. The next morning good old
Mong Chung came in, saying he could not sleep; he had
thought all night about the sacrifice. We suggested to
him that when the churches should come to understand
that Scripture, they would no longer ask American
THE MOUNTAIN. 33
Christians to support their pastors; they would do as
Christians did in other lands, support their own.
" Teacher," he said, with a look of extreme mortifica-
tion, ''Teacher, this would ruin the cause in Dong Yahn.
The heathen would reproach, and ask if we didn't beg
just like their priests. Teacher, would you make us
It was a painful task to convince the old man that it
would be right even to ask the Christians to support
their own preachers. He was deeply grieved, and I am
sure we sat there full two hours arguing the point, Mr.
Bullard pointing out Scripture which favoured it, he
reading it in Burmese and trying to turn it differently.
At last the old patriarch seemed to get some idea of the
history of the Church, and the sacrifices of Christians
in America and England. He shut up the book, rose
very solemnly, as if full of a mighty determination, and
went out. The next day he and Guapung were all over
the village, teaching the people their duty concerning a
self-supporting ministry. It was decided to attempt it
in Dong Yahn, and that church has ever since supported
its own pastor, which is now the general practice among
the Karens of Burmah. My dear husband lived only
three years on heathen ground, but if he had accomplished
nothing more than this one thing, this alone was enough
to compensate for all expense of going, and acquiring
the language. I will describe some of the scenery amid
which we then dwelt.
One morning we had reached the shore of a small still
lake at the base of a limestone cliff which loomed up
34 ■ XTAIX ECHOES.
perpendicularly several hundred feet Here an old I
man took us into a skiff, and we glided over t" an aper
ture low and narrow, in the base of a mountain opp
Onwewent right througk the mountain, when there opened
out a large rotunda with deep green waters lying ^t ill as
the Sea of Sodom. Everywhere, above, before, behind,
the huge black masses of rock rose up in misty, grim,
aJ forms, just visible by the few Btreaks of light
shooting in from the distant orifice. Just as we reached
the middle in awed silence, my consamer or e""k became
restless, and Dearly ov< rturned as.
•' 1 '11 lmrl him over. Migi r ! "—indeed I Bhouted our
old ferryman, leaping up, and darting a Btick of sugar
cane at the fellow's head.
Hurl him over, Miger!" thundered the Genii of the
cavern, as if close upon as, all around and onderneath.
'• Hurl him over, Miger!" eagerly answered all the
powers above, and it seemed a- if they were responded
to by ten thousand behind, and those bj ten thousand
more, until the whole cavern bellowed it out there in the
darkness like charging artillery.
" They'll Bwallow him up," -aid i; man, with
a wicked laugh. " Swallow him up— hi — hi — hi ! "
gurgled up ten thousand hoarse voices from the regions
below. " Swal — swal — low ! hi — hi — hi ! " laughed nut
all the furies in their upper halls. The poor Malabar,
half dead with fright, cowered down flat on the bottom
of the boat, and we paddled <>n in impatient silence, not
daring to arouse the threatening Genii again. The
angry Gin abated somewhat their wrath, but still kept
THE CAVE TEMPLE. 35
on grumbling, and even when we had emerged from their
haunted precincts, we still heard them growling after us,
" S-w-a-1-l-o-w," and laughing with a malicious glee in
their dark abodes. Very glad was I to return once more
to the light of day.
Next \ve glided round to a cave temple, over slippery
heights and dismal hollows, with torches and ladders.
On, on, on ! the dark recesses resounding with ten
thousand bats rushing, chasing, soaring, chattering,
until we come to a halt, in a grand, pantheon-like
chamber, with an arched, columnless portico, sixty feet
in height. Here a curious, throne-like stalagmite shoots
up fifteen or twenty feet, quite in the centre, with natu-
ral steps leading up to the top, as pulpit-like as possible.
The audience, too, are provided with semi-circular seats,
one above the other, and the rotunda lighted by an
aperture right over the pulpit or throne-seat, while the
roof is jewelled with pendant stalactites, some of them
clear as crystal. The Takings say Gaudama preached
here, and consecrated the temple from this quaint, self-
made pulpit. At any rate, it has been consecrated to
GOD, for, at the request of the Karens, we called them
to prayer there, and taking the seats the grotto-Builder
had made for them, the whole cavern resounded with a
hymn of praise to the Deity. This was in December,
1844. After singing, Kowong and Halter spread us a
pic-nic in an enchanting little oriel under the portico,
overhung with the greenest ferns and the sweetest air
plants. Here the consamer fried us little fishes from
the lake at our feet, roasted us rice in a bamboo joint,
36 KAREN GHOSTS.
and spread tea on "wild palm leaves. The Karens had
their repast of sour leaves, red ant nests, and bamboo
shoots, while Guapung amused us with tales of the
Genii inhabitants of this cavern.
Amongst the Karens there are four regular orders of
ghosts — the Tarataka, Taprai, J ah, and La. The first
is a terribly malignant genus, the spirits of bad rulers,
false prophets, and such like. The grasp of this demon
is certain death, from which no mortal can deliver.
This is the spirit which the Hindus think lives in the
tiger, in the lightning, storm, &c. ; the Dearga of the
Gaels. The dress of the Tarataka is also green, like
that of the old Dearga of Ben Ledi. The names, too,
seem to be the same.
Next to this invisible they fear the Jah, which means
the same and is the same word as the Saxon Gast,
English Ghost. These are the restless spirits of drowned
persons, infants, and all who have perished from conta-
gious diseases. The Jahs live in the caverns, and, like
gnomes, under the caverns. They have been denied the
rites of burial, consequently each
" Flits to some far uncomfortable coast,
A naked, wandering, melancholy ghost."
They are heard, too, in the forest,
" Faint, like broken spirits crying."
" Hark ! don't you hear it ?" asked Halter, and that
moment the gigantic bamboos bowed their tall, hairy
heads, and wailed out the most ghost-like tones that
ever came from forestry. The moan of the bamboo is
KAREN GHOSTS. 37
more mournful than anything heard in Burrnah, except
the wailing casuarinas upon the sea-shore, and they
would almost make one believe they were indeed haunted
The Taprai is a spirit, as tall, said Halter, looking
up, " as the teak-tree." It is seen stretching out its
long arms to clasp the belated traveller.
"But did you ever see a La?" I asked Halter's
" Oh yes, mama, once when going home from this
Every Karen has his La, and so with all animated
nature. Some call it a So, which, with La, makes soul.
It has a little throne in the crown of the head, as the
Greeks thought. This is man's tutelar divinity, the
same, it would seem, as the Highland Scots had, for
they believed the shadow to be a sort of Banshi, or
guardian, and the Karens call the shadow by the same
name La, or the light of the body.
Sometimes the La goes wandering about, and gets
caught in a thorn bush. Then a great seven-headed
demon enters into the person, perhaps the same as the
" Seven other Spirits " mentioned in Scripture. The
Karens tell of one being whom they call Paba. It
seems to be Ceres. They make offerings to this goddess,
and build her a lilliputian house in their rice fields, in
which they put two cords for her to tie up the straying
La, if she catches them. In sickness the Karen soul has
either been tied up, or has gone on a visitation, so they
try to call it back. They deposit an offering in the
38 guapung's power.
jungle for the truant soul, and knock upon their house-
doors to beseech it to return.
With the Burmese the spirit at death flies away in
the form of a butterfly, just as the Greeks believed.
With the Karens it forms a globule of life, and after a
time bursts, when the ethereal vapour (or gas, of course,
attendant upon the decomposition of bodies) falls upon
the opening flowers, thereby imparting to them the prin-
ciple of life. Then whatever devours the flower imbibes
It was Guapung who attempted to teach the women
of these Golden Waters to make childn n good. For
three months, one season, I accompanied her over the
plains of Dong Yahn, mostly for this purpose. So much
cruelty to children we saw, that my whole soul was
stirred. Often my little boy has felt unable to remain
in the house, but has sometimes demanded the ratan, and
taken it from them. I recollect going to one mother, after
enduring the scene long enough to have punished a
dozen Five Points children, and found she had a bundle
of ratans beside her, which she was still using upon the
naked body of her own little girl six years old ! I
never was so strongly tempted to use one myself. The
poor child was covered with wales and cuts. I saw a
mother, in a fit of weariness, fling her nursing babe from
her bosom out upon the bamboo floor, and that mother
a chief's wife, and among the best of them too. The
little one died, I think, the next day, and I dressed it
in flowers for the grave with my own hands, for the
father was an excellent Christian man, and was incon-
LOST IN A MORASS. 39
solable. This woman was not naturally cruel, nor are
the women generally, except when passion rules.
Guapung had great power with these Dong Yahn
women. Indeed, she had with every one, for she was
one who lived on the Word of God, and seemed to catch
the tones of the " Better Land." Sometimes our way
lay over Swiss-like bridges of slender bamboos or single
logs, then over the prairies, where I could never have
endured the heat, but for a turban dipped in cold water.
Once we were lost upon the prairies, and followed a lone
taper for three hours. We got into a wide morass, Mr.
Bullard, myself, and babe, and all our party. Darkness
came on, and no one could tell which was the way out.
It is a dreadful thing — did you ever know it, friend ? —
to be out in a prairie marsh in the black night, with
only a few glimmering torches, sinking deeper and deeper
at every step, turning and turning, and finding no solid
foot of ground. I think the feeling; that comes over
one is about as horrifying as anything I ever experienced.
For a long time we followed the wicked ignis fatui, but
finally emerged from the fathomless bogs, and reached
At another time our boatmen, who were strangers
among the creeks, lost their way, and insisted on re-
maining out over night. The next day was the Sabbath,
and we were going to meet the women of Dong Yahn.
We had made no preparation for the damps of night,
expecting to reach the village before dark ; but there
was not any alternative ; my babe had to be wrapped in
whatever could be found, and put to sleep on sweetened
40 EXHAUSTING LABOURS.
water, while I stood all night upon deck to point out
the landmarks. Many a night, indeed, daring I
wanderings, I was compelled to lay my little girl to Bleep
on rice water, and hear her moan out in her unrest,
" Ma, node, mic." It almost broke my heart, but not a
drop could be obtained at any price A.fter khe first
year we learned to Bupply our boat with a goat, and
little Rasa had the pretty creature all to herself; but
for years after she would grasp her cup of milk, and <ip
it f<»r hours, holding it with all her strength, as
remembered —little thing — the sufferings of those dread-
Indeed, these labours were not prosecuted without
severe pain, weariness, and Buffering, even to Guapung,
as well as to ourselves. There was one Beason when I
could obtain DO vegetables of any kind whatever fol -i\
weeks. The work was too urgent to be left Mr. Dullard
had just called out a company of lay converts, and was
traversing all the plains, preaching to the heathen, while
Guapung and I were talking to the women from >ix
o'clock in the morning till ten in the evening, in the
bungalow, for they thronged us continually, bo that,
although I remained with them four months at a time, I
never could command time to touch a needle, or take up
an English book; and several times returned to the
city, so utterly exhausted, that the boatmen were obliged
to carry me from the landing to the house
But then all weariness and pain were forgotten on
seeing those poor mothers seeking so earnestly for light
" My husband loves me now."
guapung's charm. 41
" My boys bring me fire-wood now."
" My little girl don't run away now."
" There," exclaims a fourth, " you see that boy ? Pie
was the worst child in the world : he would hold his
breath till almost dead, and all my beatings did no good.
Now see, I haven't struck him for a week, and he 's just
as good as chepoke" (sugar cane).
Then others were thronging round, anxious to learn
how to make home happy. One day a woman in great
distress came some five miles to Guapung for a charm to
cure her husband from running away. Guapung sat
down, listened to her sad tale, then said, — " Yes, sister,
I have a charm," and repeated to her the story of Christ,
of His forbearance, His humility, and His love for His
" Now go," says Guapung, "and ask your husband
home, and then don't scold him again, and see if he
don't love you."
About three weeks after, a man came over from that
woman's village to see " Guapung, the big teacheress,
who had the charm ;" for he understood that Jesus
Christ's religion did not allow women to scold their hus-
bands ! The unhappy woman, he said, was living
quietly with her husband, and the men of the village
were all anxious to have their wives join the Christians.
" Ah," said Guapung to me that night, " if Jesus
Christ's women only make home happy, the men won't
Was she not right ? Yet how sadly has this truth
been forgotten !
42 woman's mission work.
Yes! if preachers and teachers are only sent to men,
and women are left idolaters, scolds, and gamblers, how
slowly the work moves on !
In this department of mission labour, woman has yet
a great work to do — woman in Christian lands and in
pagan lands. Let our brothers marshal their for
preachers and books, but we will be the coral-workers,
out of sight, under ground. Mark thai bly of
cultivated men and women under the impassioned elo-
quence of some master Bpirit. What sympathy will be
elicited, what indignation, what determination, when
the voice rises and falls! Even bo have I seen it in
the Mother's Meetings at Dong Yahn, under the inspir-
ing lessons of the Bible. Yes, the Missionary woman
who has the native language, and the confidence of the
people, wields a wand as magical as the orator of London
or New York; so does the Bible woman of Christian
lands. Nay, still mightier, for her instructions are not
for the whirling, changing mass. She goes behind, and
tones the secret Bprings that move the mass. It is no
light thing, Christian sister, this lofty privilege, either
in Heathen or Christian lands, to move the heart-wheel
that is to roll and roll, and send out links doubling
There was a lady, the editress of the " Mother's
Journal," in New York, who often sent these Dong Yahn
mothers a few sweet crumbs of strength and comfort.
But oh, it is dark — dark — dark ! What is that gloomy
ALONE ALONE. 43
cavalcade? Ah, do not ask — do not ask — silently —
silently we wind along. Oh, who — who can pity but
God ? Who but the Almighty give strength ? Why does
the rain pelt so ? Oh God, the grave is full of water !
"Will they put him there ? — the loved, the husband, the
father, the heathen's friend ! I cannot see — I cannot see!
Alone ! — what a crushing burden is on the air, float-
ing over the pillow, pressing upon the eyelids, and sink-
ing upon the heart like the sound of the first turf upon
that coffin lid, — on awakening after an hour of feverish
sleep, in the arms of dear Mrs. Stevens. That moment
my little boy of six months nestled closer to my bosom,
looking up so pityingly. It was his father's blue eye —
a tear gathered under the silken lashes. I knew it —
accepted it — his father's glance of sympathy — and it
nerved the heart and hand for future straggles.
" Are we not to be like the angels ?" And are there
not " ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them
who shall be heirs of salvation?" Did not Jacob see
the angels ascending and descending ? Do not " their
angels behold every day the face of my Father?" and
did not the angel father inspire his darling girl, then four
years old, when she planted her tiny foot firm beside me,
and, with a faltering voice, yet with the determination
of age, said, " Don't cry, mamma, don't cry. I '11 be your
comforter ! " wiping off my tears with her infant hand ?
Never shall I forget that voice — that glowing eye that
spoke so thrillingly of peace. It was the father's great
heart coming back through his little one. Blessed child !
They icere inspired words — faithfully kept, thank Heaven,
44 EDWIN BULLARD.
Nobly my dear husband strove, nobly he died. May
the father's mantle fall upon his boy !
Dong Yahn was the centre of Mr. Bullard's field of
enterprise — our loved Jungle Home — where he laboured
with an inspiration that inspired all Dong Yahn, and
linked many a Karen heart to his for eternity.
Although my dear husband compressed the labours of
a long life into three brief years in India, yet his minis-
try had been twenty-two years: for he was hut twelve
years old when a deacon of the Rutland church in Ver-
mont sent for him twelve miles t" come ami preach in
his own house, and lie ever after bore the title in his
childhood of "the beloved little John," for his peace-
making gifts at school, gifts for which he was remark-
able through life. lie was always studious, and in-
defatigable in overcoming difficulties. He mastered
the Pwo Karen language within a year ; preached in
it a thousand sermons, baptized thirty-eight Pwo
Karens, taught nearly a year his Theological Class
with great devotion, organized two churches, gave them
their first discipline in their own language; left them a
rich legacy in a Karen Missionary Sermon, and trans-
lated for them the Gospel of Matthew, with Explana-
tions ; besides ministering to them, from door to door,
nearly all over the Pwo Karen territory of the Maulniain
He carried up to his Master a crown of a hundred
stars, his own dear converts, baptized by himself. He
was ordained three years before going to Burmah. and
two precious revivals followed his preaching in Massa-
FAREWELL TO DONG YAHN. 45
clmsetts ; and how many converts lie found above, or
meets coming up there now, no one here may tell.
He was, too, the tenderest of husbands — the fondest
The following lines were written on leaving this our
first home in the wilderness : —
FAREWELL TO DOXG YAHX.
Kind forest-child, away, away !
Oh urge rne not, I may not stay ;
But on your breast this tear-drop lay,
While now, with heart all torn, I say,
Farewell, Dong Yalm !
Farewell, high rocks, and caverns gray !
Farewell, sweet flowers that smile so gay !
Farewell, my birds in bright silk clad,
Ye who have sung my lone heart glad,
In sweet Dong Yalin !
And must I leave that Inga grove,
That bower of prayer we loved to rove ?
Ah, yes, sweet bowers, your drooping flowers
Sigh with me now o'er by-gone hours,
In bright Dong Yahn.
Leave, too, that stream, that blessed stream,
O'er which a star now seems to beam,
Where ransom'd souls have lowly bow'd,
And, strong in God, have firmly vow'd
To save Dong Yahn.
How oft on this secluded plain
We 've smiled and wept o'er joy and pain !
How often angels hover'd near,
Over the penitential tear,
Here in Don'' Yahn !
And can I leave that temple there,
Where once your Teacher knelt in prayer,—
That Teacher who, with pitying eye,
Would ever soothe the mourner's cry,
In our Dong Yahn i
And, more than all, my pupils kind,
Round whom the cords of love are twined,
Must I, then, never, never see
Those eyes that beam so tenderly
In my Dong Yahn ?
Entreat not, child, with that sad tear!
It pains my very soul to hear ;
Oh look not up so grieved and pleading,
For my crush' d heart is also bleeding
O'er lone Dong Yahn.
Dear ones, farewell ! I go, I go !
Though sorrows brim and overflow ;
God comfort thee in all thy woe,
And span thy hills with heaven's bow,
My loved Dong Yahn !
After many months of grief, which I trust was sanc-
tified, I turned to the Indo-Britons, a large and sadly
neglected class in Maulmain.
A very pretty, intelligent Anglo-Indian young woman
became my Bible Reader. Her name was Jessie. She
visited more than a hundred and fifty Burmese women
with me, besides many of her own people. Jessie had
known sorrow, and was therefore fitted for the work.
No person whose heart has not been bowed by grief is
prepared for it. Lessons in sorrow are just as necessary
THE BIBLE READER. 47
to the Bible reader in heathen lands, and in Christian
lands too, as discipline in language or arithmetic.
" Miss Jessie, have you brought your Jesus Book to-
" Well, read, Miss, read. Don't speak. I'm sick, read."
It was Mr. , of Maulmain, who thus spoke. He
was a Hebrew. Jessie understood the tone. She was
much surprised at the command, for he had always for-
bade her opening her New Testament ; but she obeyed at
once, asking no questions. Slowly, distinctly, she read
on, the fifth chapter of Matthew, then the story of Nico-
demus, then of the young lawyer, then the parable of the
sower, the husbandman, and much more. The Hebrew
had turned his face to the wall, and uttered not a word.
His wife sat by and listened, swinging her infant. She,
too, so silent, they could hear every drop of the pattering
rain. Finally, Jessie closed her Jesus Book, pressed the
sweet Jewess's hand, and went out.
It was soon after that I left Maulmain, and heard no
more from my Hebrew friends. Jessie married, and we
both had new cares.
It was in 1860, on my way to the States, that I again
met Mr. in the steamer Burmah. He had with
him his wife, a son and daughter, and a friend with ser-
vants. He was going up to Calcutta to take a wife for
his son — the babe the Jewess was tending when Jessie
was there. They were very happy, for the alliance was
to be with a powerful family, one that had worked itself
up as I suppose as they had done.
48 A JEW AND HIS FAMILY.
The Jews are the Yankees of the East, always man-
aging to make their way upward if it is only one step a
month, and they do it in the same maimer as the "Song
of the Shirt" — by work, work, wmk, morning, noon, and
night — and by watching men's eyes.
When I first knew Mr. he was a poor man, just
beginning as a small shop-keeper in Maulmain. Abra-
ham, Isaac, and all the patriarchs had re appeared in tbe
bazaar there, and it was amusing to hear them : if v m
inquired of Mr. for an article not in his simp, lie
would go through all the bazaar calling n]> Samuels,
Moshas, Daniels, ami Davids, till yon wonld begin to
ask if his mother lived in Endor, But it did not matter
what yon thought ; he wonld be sure to bring yon the
article desired, whether satins, nails, or pickles.
Now, Mr. was said to be worth twenty lacs of
rupees, or about ten hundred thousand dollars.
The son was dressed on this wedding tonr in bine sill:
pantaloons, with the finest linen — a long tunic of the
richest blue silk brocade over a white linen robe, and a
Fez cap with a rich heavy crimson tassel. lie had a
costly ruby upon his finger, but no other jewelry.
The sister was beautiful. Her dress generally was of
silks, cut very much in the style of our present dresses.
She wore no veil, but a delicate mantle of exquisite
gauze, thrown gracefully over the head, and around the
waist a chain of gold, with a heavy talisman or scroll of
gold. She wore rich bracelets, and a Bnrman necklace
of gold threads, with diamond earrings and rings. The
Jewessess in Burmah do not veil themselves within doors
HEBREWS OF MAULMAIN. 49
any more than Sarai did, but I have met them return-
ing from the synagogue veiled in Persian style, showing
only their fine large black eyes.
The Hebrews of Maulmain are very light, almost
white, indeed. They have not the transparent rose and
white of Erin and the Norseland, but they are white
Asiatics. They are cultivated people, well read, and
very polite, except that and his lovely family
would not eat with us Gentiles. They kept their own
cook, and had their meals served by themselves on solid
Mr. was a fine singer, and I wanted him to
sing me a Hebrew Psalm, but he did not like to do it
there. This led to a long talk about the Scripture pro-
phecies. He seemed unwilling to hear them, but
digressed continually to the genealogies and histories of
the Israelites. He could silence me very quickly in the
genealogical line, for it is as much as I can do to re-
member who my grandfather was. I had to give up
that. I could trace Abraham's only to Terah the Gen-
tile. He did not like to touch on the hundred and
tenth Psalm, but could chant the whole of the hundred
and fifth. Finally, after indulging him and all his com-
panions in a victorious laugh over my obstinate ignorance
of the Chronicles, I succeeded in netting: him to read
attentively the twenty-ninth and fifty-third chapters of
Isaiah, when a pious, intelligent officer joined us, and I
left them. The discussion was prolonged until a very
late hour, and after all others had retired, I saw
standing with his friend Mr. Cohen, apparently preach-
ing to him Jesus, the Holy One of Israel, while Mr.
Cohen's excited tone, eye, and manner, expressed all the
scorn of the Pharisee. They were speaking in Arabic,
but I could distinctly hear saying the " Mesheah,"
the " Mesheah," and pointing him to Isaiah. It was a
moment of the deepest interest to me ; and the officer
told me that Mr. did acknowledge to him alone
that he had a New Testament in his own house, and
had read it twice through ; [moreover, that he did some-
times doubt, and scarcely knew what to believe about
their long-expected Messiah. But he added, "Suppose
we believe this Book. What can we do ? We are
dependent upon our business. If we confess Jesus to be
the Christ, we shall surely be cast out of the Synagogue,
and then not a Jew will do business with us."
Do people think what it Mas, and what it is now, to
be put out of the synagogue ?
As I looked on my friend , in the saloon of the
" Burniah," thought went back to Jessie and my Eura-
sian friends in Maulmain. One eye after another rose
around the cabin, beaming with hope, love, and high
resolve, till I laid my head down and wept for Jessie and
my old Sunday-school. The pupils and teachers of this
school were very dear to me, and Jessie was my principal
helper. Thrilling scenes and discoveries did we make in
our visitings among the Eurasian children and their
heathen mothers in Maulmain.
One Burman woman insisted that she was married,
that the white man ate pickled tea with her, which is
the same as joining hands in English ; but a third, the
mother of three little children, looked up and said, "My
mother sold me when thirteen years old. The father of
my babes will never marry me ; I am not his colour. I
dare not ask it. He never promised it. What can I
do ? If I leave him, my children die. Lady," and the
big tears stood in that heathen woman's eye, " Lady, it
was a Christian who bought me : will not the Christian's
God pity me ? "
At another place we found a woman sitting upon the
grass beating her bosom, and moaning most piteously.
Her curly-headed, blue-eyed boy had been taken from
her — stolen from her in the night — and sent across the
ocean for an English education. She would never see
him again, or if she did, only to be cursed by him. She
was a maniac.
I was told of another poor creature, who went tearing
her hair, rushing wildly up and down the streets calling
for her two little girls. Their father had taken an Eng-
lish wife, a perfect stranger to the children and to their
mother ; a dashing, working woman, just come out from
Scotland. She would want help, so, to save other ex-
pense, the two sisters were taken by force from their
mother, who idolized them, and put under this hard
foreigner, with a father who only cared for gold. This
was my Jessie and her little sister. Their poor mother,
I think, never saw them again, and their sad story is too
harrowing to relate. Many of these children inherit
their father's high spirit, scorn their Burman relations,
and are equally scorned by them. So that the condition
of this class is truly pitiable. They need a real Yankee
52 THE WASH YULE.
school in their midst — that is, one giving them a sound
English education, mentally and physically, and one that
will teach them to scorn the oriental fear of work.
When I began teaching the Karens of Dong Yahn,
they refused to wash their own clothes, but insisted on
my hiring a washerman for them. I insisted on their
doing it themselves. Then they would not bring their
clothes at all ; so I was obliged to go to the rooms of
each pupil, for I had then men, women, and children.
Finally, it occurred to me that they held it as degrading
because ice hired a dhoby. So one Saturday I called all
together, placed the children to mind the fires and the
well, and took the mothers to the wash-tub ; I got out
my children's clothes, and went into the soap suds in
earnest. "There," I said, "you see how book-women
" Mama makes herself a cooley" said one of the
preachers, with unutterable scorn.
" And what, Bahme, did the Son of God make Him-
self?" I asked, when he walked away. The example
moved them all, and proved a decided success ; so that
from that time no more washermen were called for my
school, and ever after I found they washed every week
regularly in the jungles. One had gone so far as to get
a flat-iron, and even ironed her husband's jackets.
Their subsequent habits of cleanliness seemed to
change them every way. One boy who was very lazy,
and who would sit down at play hours, after he began
to wash his turban, became all at once the most indus-
trious fellow there ; he subsequently learned the printing
business, and became so efficient, he was called for every-
where. He dated his conversion from that time ; and
so did a fine little girl, now a preacher's wife, as her
pastor wrote me subsequently.
Another young girl had troubled me much with her
bad temper and language. Suddenly she changed, and,
from being hated by her companions, became a favourite.
One day I called her aside, and inquired how it was she
had kept from saying bad words so long. The tears
" Mama," she said, " when my dress was dirty, my
heart was dirty. Now I want to keep my heart clean.
So when the bad words rise, I pray to God, then shut
my teeth tight, and choke them ! "
Six of these young washerwomen became Bible readers
and teachers ; one married the highest chief in the land,
and another the head teacher in the Theological School
Another time one of the women remained out of
school, because her child cried. I called for the child,
and found it all over eruption, from the crown of its
head to the soles of its feet. I ordered an ointment,
and gave her a cake of castile soap.
" Mama," she exclaimed, with all the disgust she
could express, " it smells ! " And no persuasion could
induce that mother to put her delicate hands to the
" Very well," I said, " give me the poor little thing,"
and dashed him into the water ; then anointed the little
tubercle of humanity with my own hands. The next
day he was so much bettor, the mother was encouraged,
and ventured to follow ; and from that time her children
wen- the most cleanly in her village, and have risen up
to honour their parents These were Karens, bat —
"Will Mrs. Bullanl please send her servant asked
a poor Eurasian young woman, who had applied to me
for sewimr. She was living with her Burman mother
alone, down among the huts. I made her up a small
roll, and handed it to her as we do at home; but Bhe
was the daughter of a baron, and a high military officer.
It would degrade her to carry that little roll of cloth.
This is orientalism, and one of the greatest hindrances
to the education of eastern nations.
"No, Julia," I answered; "1 don't think I could
-end Sammy. He's gone to market, and he has no one
to do the work for him. But I "11 take it myself; I
should like to see your mother."
Julia's eyes opened as thej never did before: "Oh,no,
madam ;" but 1 took the roll home. Julia never again
asked for a servant.
Now, these Indo Britons need to be taught after the
Yankee model, to put their hand- to work, and to
regard all work as honourable if honest. Then they
would rise up and become the elevators of the heathen,
and the strength of the Government.
BEGINNING OF THE TOUNGIIOO MISSION, AND OUR
JOURNEY UP THE COUNTRY.
Will you take a sail now in " the rains" down the Bay
to Monmogon, on the coast of Tavoy ? It is an awful
kind of beauty that nature puts on here ; but come, it
Wild, sublime, and lovely as ocean, sky, rock, and
flower can be, is this Monmogon, our home by the sea ;
especially when a storm broods over the islands, or draws
up in a line of water- spouts. At times I have seen a
long colonnade of these glorious water-columns, now and
then lit up by a crossing sunbeam into prisms of inde-
scribable grandeur. Indeed, the lover of marine scenery
always finds Monmogon enchanting ground.
The dark graceful avenues of feathery Casuarinas, the
two lonely mountains north and south, the frontage of
rocky isle and green sea, and the knowledge that there
is a village a mile behind in the mangoes, make it all
that the lover of romance can want in scenery. The
orchids are flowering in the woods, the creepers carpeting
the alluvial plain, and the darling little pink and white
shells embroidering the shingly beach. It is exciting,
Ob THE MARCH.
'hen the fisher monkeys come scampering along the
sand, digging out the shells, cracking them as boys
would their nuts, and helping themselves to breakfast
It was exciting to see our boys chasing them, or tending
their great baby monkey. One day a Burman brought
them a young white eyelid monkey, of a pretty flesh
colour, that did truly look like a little baby boy. They
:id it off to t\ -. fir they had
another pet monkey, and the moment the pet saw them
touch the white one, it sprang at it, and would have
The boys amused themselves also by running after the
nut. along the beach, and watching the cun-
ning scarlet-C'loured crabs ; but one time they came
bounding into the door in breathless haste, and a few
minutes after a barking deer leaped, almost flew past,
through the jungle, and the children fully believed they
could hear the hard breathing of the tiger over the im-
ploring eyes of the pretty deer. There were tigers all
around us we knew : for thev had devoured two men in
the neighbourhood after we went there, and we some-
times heard their dismal " peo, peo," ranging round the
It is in August. 1853 : Mr. Mason lies on his cot in
the centre of the bungalow, too weak to speak loud, or
raise his han -
" Husband, do get well, and we '11 go to Tounghoo ! "
I say playfully. He looks up a moment earnestly,
smiles, and drops into a calm sleep. Strange to say,
from that verv hour he beirins to mend.
PERILS OF THE JOURNEY. 57
One week passes — a light cot of bamboo, covered and
enclosed with thatch, stands at the door.
" Gently — gently — Moungyen," and they lift him in
on to his little bed. He is nicely tucked up and covered
from the rain.
"Who are to carry the Sahib ? "
'• These, ma'am/' pointing to six of the smallest men
" No, no, these men can take me, but the stoutest
ones must be master's bearers. Stand up together.
Let 's see if you are the same height."
The natives think nothing about this, and generally
put tall men on one side, and short ones on the other ;
then go trotting on, regardless of the constant anxiety it
gives the persons borne lest they should be tipped out.
Turning a bend in the path, I see my little daughter
swinging over a slippery precipice, in a basket borne by
two Burmans, on a bamboo. The poor little thing is
drenched with the pouring rain, for her umbrella, like
mine, had been smashed by the bearers. Beyond, on
the verge of a high perpendicular cliff, are my two little
boys astride of men's shoulders. One is on the neck of
a tall, sleek Coringa, clinging with might and main to
the fellow's long black hair, which was streaming: Absa-
loin-like, a part in the wind, and a part tangled in the
jungle branches above.
" He is a votary of Kali," I think, as my eye glances
down at the rapids beneath. But at that moment there
appear half a dozen red, checked, and white turbans
58 THE MARCH.
" Ho, ho ! Stop, stop, Moungyen ! " Useless halloo-
ing. They 're too far on to stop, and I hold my breath
as they cross, for the bearers are dangling my husband's
cot right over a deep gulf as black as night, and they
stand on a single log, ilirown as a bridge across the
" Now, Allay, these Burmans are not to do such a
daring thing again," and I leave my chair, and walk
before to watch the road, stopping now and then to
wet my husband's lips with wine, and say a word of
comfort — full of terror, lest he should expire on the road.
Nothing but a faint hope that he might live through
such a journey could have induced me to go at such a
time. But he was so nearly dying, I felt sure he could
survive but a few days if he remained. No physician
near — no white face.
On they go, tugging up the steep ascent, over toppling
crags, and through the dripping, pinched-up fissure
beyond. We had crossed the submerged, unreaped rice
field, with much effort descended the steep falling bank,
and crossed the Tavoy river. A stout Burman, with
only his patsoe trussed up, caught me in his arms, and
plunged at once knee deep into the mire, and kept
plunging to the top of the bank. These men have such
a way of walking, one feels quite safe ; and they never
dropped me, although they have carried me many a time
through swollen streams, and up steep precipices, clench-
ing their naked toes to the rocks like the mountain goat.
I have crossed these mountains in painful anxiety and
fear at midnight, by torch-light, almost fleeing before my
OVER THE MOUNTAINS. 59
bearers, who plodded on with their empty chair, fearing
lest we should be left in utter darkness with the tigers ;
but this time it was more fearful still, for the whole
seemed like a funeral march.
Nothing was heard but the roar of some hidden tor-
rent behind a crag, the scream of the peacock eagle as
she plunged down the tiger-haunted abyss, the surge-
like sounds of the hornbills' wings soaring around the
splintered pinnacles, and the mournful requiem of the
congregated wauwau monkeys, calling and answering
from mountain to mountain, or hurling rocks right over
our heads. The craggy precipices loomed up from five
hundred to fifteen hundred feet on each side the gorge,
almost shutting out the light ; and not a blossom looked
out to cheer us, except now and then the blue thunber-
gia, which I have loved ever since ; but instead of flowers,
immense creepers swung over the lonely ravines and along
the cliffs like mourning weeds draping a cathedral.
In the same manner I had carried my husband to the
sea-shore nearly two years before, and the change restored
him for a time to health.
After nine miles travel in the heaviest rain, over
rocks and crags, rivers and gulfs, we are glad enough to
" Husband, dear, are you still alive ?"
"Please go quickly!" I entreat of the Missionary
brethren, " and see if we can get passage to Maulmain
in the steamer just ready to leave."
All shake their heads, and fingers are raised in token
60 MR. MASON.
"She's crazy," they Bay to themselves; bat I put
some wine to his lips and hasten out.
In the steamer — "Captain, captain! will you take
my husband ' Please do ; hell die h<
•• The captain is not here, madam ; can't engage."
"Oh, Sir, do take my husband. Say he may be
'l'lt ifficer lias a human heart.
■• Well, madam, I've no right. The captain may be
displeased, bnt I'll venture We have in an hour
though, Yon can't get him hen
•■ only Bay the word — well try.*'
In the Btreets ; not a bearer left : hungry and wet,
all have run away t-> their homes. No time to !
hasten over to our old Barman bazaar-woman. Bya few-
words and more gestures make her comprehend. Out
she goes, and in half an hour my husband'e cot is
alongside the Bteamer. (' 1. kind Mr. Gray lifts him
up, cot and all, on to the dick.
There I knelt beside him, telling him earnestly he
would not die, for he was called to Tounghoo, and all
the time my own heart beating as if it would hurst
through. Thank heaven, he lived ; and on arriving in
Maulmain, the change of air, diet, and medicine set him
in his chair again. We were much indebted lure to
Quarter Master I Iraig, an officer then in Maulmain. This
kind friend of Mr. Mason came in one day with a bottle
of the best old port wine, and a paper of charred cork.
He begged my husband to try it — a wine-glass of wine
and a tea-spoonful of the cork together, three times
DEPARTURE FOR TOUNCHOO. 61
a-day. He did try it, and it cured him of the most
obstinate chronic illness, which had baffled the skill of
all his physicians.
A week has passed — Mr. Mason is still very weak ;
but he calls me beside him —
"Ellen," he says, "don't you think it maybe duty for
us to try and go to Tounghoo ?"
" Most certainly. Haven't a doubt of it."
" But you can't ." Before he could finish, I was
In the streets of Maulmain. I call an extra servant.
" John, will you go with the Sahib to Tounghoo ?"
" Oh, no, mistress. Plenty robbers. Me very 'fraid."
At last, after three days a servant is engaged. But
it was nearly a week that he and I traversed those
streets, hour after hour, and day after day, in search of
a boat and men who would dare to make the perilous
attempt of going to Tounghoo. Pegu had been taken by
the English, and the country was overrun with dacoits.
Finally, on Saturday, in answer to prayer, I am sure,
a few volunteers appeared at our door. Among them a
Karen boatman, a Christian, who could speak Pwo
Karen, the language I was familiar with. Mr. Mason
said, "Take him for your Tutauman, or interpreter.'"
I did so, and wonderful indeed has been this man' s
career ever since.
After a few days we are on the way for that unknown
land of song, old Tounghoo. Almost everybody then
condemned the undertaking, or at least thought it a wild
scheme, and a most perilous exposure of life.
62 CHOPPING WOMEN.
Imagine us in a small Burman boat, with a queer,
hood-like cover of thatch over the centre ; a corps of
six native preachers in another boat, and rowing a few
miles up the Salwcn. I could not help wishing that our
way led up as far as Trockla, for I do love trees, and
this is the land of that queen of trees, the Amherstia.
I have seen several in full bloom in Maulmain, but could
only talk to its native glories in imagination.
It is something like an umbrella in form, with light
drooping branches of lively given. Its blossoms arc of
brilliant red and yellow, which float down mure than a
yard in length. Doctor Wallich first discovered it, and
named it after Lady Amherst, wife of the Governor-
General of India. The tree is said to be worth fifty
pounds in England.
About fifty miles north-west of Martaban Gulf, we
passed in sight of a land I had many times visited.
The last time I went in search of a pupil, whose mother
had kept him away from school. The family lived quite
alone on the skirts of a forest, and we had to walk some
three miles over the paddy fields, with feet almost blis-
tering, and fainting from the noon-day heat. A Karen
girl carried my babe, and on reaching the ladder, I saw
two women cutting up fish on the verandah. I called
to them, but they gave me no answer. I ascended, but
they gave me no mat. I took a stone for a seat with
my babe, all of us utterly exhausted. Not the slightest
attention was bestowed, nor any recognition of our pre-
sence. The house was quite full of young men and
women ; but one looked at the rice pot, another at the
fishing; net, another at the water bucket, and another
played with the dog's tail, making him keep up a con-
tinual yelp. All seemed determined not to know us,
and kept on their loud talking and jesting, both girls
Clack, clack, too, went the knives, and for a moment
my heart sunk within me. Never before nor since did
I receive so much rudeness, or see so much scorn in the
countenances of heathen men and women.
Finally, my school girls, who had accompanied me,
struck up a Karen hymn ; clearly, slowly, sweetly they
sung on about the Saviour, and as their plaintive notes
floated round among the lime-trees and over the bananas,
it seemed to fall upon the boisterous company like a
gentle shower on tumultuous waves. For a moment
there was a calm, and I began to explain the words of
Clack, clack, faster and faster went the knives. Soon
another loud contemptuous laugh.
We sung again. Another pause, and again we addressed
them. So the scene continued, until at last, when we
had sung nearly through the third hymn, they began to
drop, one after another, as if mesmerized. All sat down
but one, a tall, handsome, light-coloured maiden, whose
rolling eyes and mischievous tricks greatly troubled us.
She was the daughter of the mistress of the house, one
of the choppers on the verandah. Gradually, just as
we have seen the dawn opening, the surrounding eyes
began to lose their wildness, and the lips their scorn ;
finally, the mouths all around began to open wider and
64 CHOPPING WOMEN.
wider, while the glance of the eyes grew sharper, steadier,
Clack, clack, went the knives.
Earnestly we entreated the Great Enlightener to
descend, and I do believe He was there, wicked as the
place was. Suddenly it occurred to me that I did not
hear the knives. I looked round, and there lay the two
women, the very personification of two great porpoises,
stretched upon the floor behind, their chins propped up
by their hands and elbows ; but their eyes were full of
tears. Yes, those savage -mannered women had human
I found my pupil hidden behind a rice basket, where
the chopping women had put him on seeing my approach.
On questioning him about the Sabbath, he said he
remembered the Sabbath day.
" And how do you spend it ? "
" I read this," he answered, taking out the Gospel of
Matthew from under the basket. He had paid two
annas for it. After Mr. Bullard had printed St. Mat-
thew for the Pwos, he suggested to my school children
that they should each pay sixpence a-piece for it. Books
had always been given them before, and the idea of buy-
ing books was wholly new to them. "It hit their
minds " though, as they said, and they came forward to
purchase in great numbers, and went and covered them
the first thing they did — which I had never seen them
do with any book before.
It was in 1846 that Imade this trip to the Prairie
women. In 1850 I went to visit my old school. I was
JOURNEY TO TOUNGHOO. 65
passing round the room, feeling mournful that I could
not recognise any old familiar faces, when suddenly a
heavy hand was laid upon my shoulder, and I confronted
a large elderly woman, who gazed into my eyes with a
depth in her own I could not account for.
" Mama!" she exclaimed, "I 'm not as I was ! Don't
you know me ? I 'm not as I was ; " seizing both my
hands in her brawny palms, and leading, rather hurrying,
me up to a desk — " My daughter, Mama ! My daugh-
ter ! " Both had been baptized.
Oh, did not the angels weep tears of joy with me that
morning ? Did not their loved teacher in heaven look
down with unutterable delight upon that scene ? Thanks
be to God who giveth us victory — " victory through our
Lord Jesus Christ."
As I thought of these scenes in passing the prairies,
my eyes peered toward the misty north, and the veiled
future ; and I heard — yes, it seemed like a voice saying,
" Only believe."
Then the sun shone out brighter, the birds sang more
sweetly, our boat glided on, and we rejoiced over the
coming days of Tounghoo. It seemed as if everything
else rejoiced too with us, even the water fowl on the
These prairies are the home of innumerable water
fowl : — adjutants nodding their floating marabout plumes
among the red lilies and crimson leaves of the nelum-
biums ; cormorants, teal, and thousands of snow-white
herons with black legs, mingling with the white lilies as
if blossoms themselves. In a cove here I saw a hun-
dred pelicans netting up the fish like skilled old fisher-
men. A hundred more swept through the air above,
with several magnificent cranes ; and down came from
a distant pinnacle the fisher-eagle ; while the wide plain
was flanked with many a herd of great black buf-
faloes, standing like lines of cavalry drawn up around
Then came the " Guiding Island" in the midst of
this desert. The canal here enters a small lake, encircled
by little lights glimmering among the morning shadows
as we float under the lime-trees, reminding us of what
children sing of
" — One of those beautiful islands,
Away in the tropical seas,
Where flow'n ts blossom all winter,
And oranges hang on the fcr
But right beside the oranges is a poor, woe-begone
peasant plying his skiff through the prairie — now up,
now down, while his wife keeps two small bamboos
working on the sides. They are gathering grass seeds
for their children's breakfast. In times of famine the
natives of India use grass seeds for rice.
Afterwards Sittang bursts upon us like a fairy-land,
lying in a tranquil mirror-like semicircle, a mile or more
in width. Rows of cottages and avenues of trees on
either side, with the dim battlements of the ancient city
in the distance ! These make the place so lovely, and
it looks so civilized, that one doubts for a moment if the
inhabitants can be heathen.
OLD AND NEW SITTING. 67
Old Sittang was founded about six hundred years ago,
by the Talaing monarch of Pegu, about twenty miles
west of this place. It was designed by nature for a
stronghold, and such it has continued to be, passing
through innumerable changes ; now sacked by the Shans,
then by the Burmans, and by how many more nations I
know not, but at last taken by the English in 1824 or
1825, given up again to the Burmans, and retaken by
the British in 1852.
Modern Sittang has a very tolerable bazaar close to
the river, which here flows round a crescent-shaped pre-
cipice, rising just behind the principal street, forming a
natural rampart from one to two hundred feet high ;
perpendicular, and covered with brilliant green shrubbery,
it presents a very striking and beautiful background.
On this hill the English have planted their cantonments.
The place is garrisoned by a small force ; the town at
present numbers only from one to two thousand inhab-
itants, mostly Burmans, and I believe all are heathen.
Passing up this river the boatmen tell us many tales —
among them the following: : —
While the British troops were on their march from
Shwaygyn to Tounghoo, a party of horse one day galloped
off some distance from the army, and came suddenly upon
a skirmishing party of three or four hundred Burmese
soldiers, armed ready for battle. As soon as they saw
the Colahs, they all cowered down and shekoed, except
one, who was dauntless enough to fire a musket. He
had no sooner fired, than a sepoy leaped to his side and
caught him by the hair, calling out :
68 THE ROUTE.
"Who are you, you rascal?" Whereupon somebody
who knew him muttered, "Rajah."
" Rajah ! " shouted the sepoy. " Who ? Where ' "
" Hoga, Rajah! Rajah!" cried the caught man,
pointing fiercely to a Burinan who was galloping off at
"So, ho !" shouted the sepoy, starting with all fury
after the flying rider, when, to his great chagrin, he
learned that the man he had let go was the Rajah, the
robber Governor oiMartaban, and the one he was pur-
suing was his servant. In the mean time, the Rajah
had run for Ins life.
So, you see, many scenes have been acted along these
waters — many shockingly tragic, and some tragi-comic.
" Saya, Saya!" came in subdued tones through oth
boat-curtains the morning after we had slept at Sittang.
"What — what is it, Kodote?" hurriedly questions
the Missionary, rousing from his sleep, for it is scarcely
" Thane nat ! thane not !"
" Ha ! What ? Where are the guns ?"
" Gone, Saya. The J< miahs have got them both ' "
It seems incredible, for the missing muskets are both
loaded, and lie on each side of our head boatman under
his curtains. But gone they are, and thankful are we
that the dacoits have not turned them upon us as we lay
helpless before them.
We have been repeatedly told that our way is infested
by robbers, and that a notorious brigand has posted
his followers not far from this place ; but haying an old
THE CITY OF GOLD. 69
soldier to lead us, and our boats being well armed, we
have felt comparatively safe. We now see more than
ever how weak is man, how strong is God.
Imagine one vast plain stretching to the west as far
as the eye can reach, its banks fringed with luxuriant
cucubine reeds and the long purple tassels of the sac-
charrine grass. Here and there, too, is a village, and
then comes a green field of waving rice instead of the
forever glaring yellow. The spirit is cheered, too, by
human sounds which tell of a heart-tie. When tra-
velling far among deep forests and burning plains, we
forget nations, and feel so grateful to grasp any human
hand or hear any human sound ; no matter what is said,
even a curse would sometimes be thankfully received
from a brother man.
Our right shore contrasts finely with the left in its
magnificent precipices, which occasionally tower up all
of a sudden from their level basements, overhano-ino; the
river with great boldness and beauty. On our right is
a grand range of mountains, the same chain as seen at
Martaban, which separates the Salwen and Sittang val-
leys, and extends far above Ava, And here we are at
Shwaygyn, the City of Gold, one hundred and thirty-
six miles from Maulmain.
'Tis an old town, and if you wish to know how it
looks, you must think of two broad rivers meeting up
here, a little way from the foot of these great mountains.
At their junction lie two precipitous ledges of rock, like
terraces, one above the other. On the highest of these
hills, which presents a broad space of table-land, the
British troops are cantoned, mostly within the old Bur-
The lower terrace of Shwaygyn presents the aspect
of having been in its day one of the loveliest spots in
India. The beautiful Abbe; Hill here opens over a
perpendicular precipice of forty or fifty feet, on the
of which Btands a line of fairy like pagodas, and
then a line of ancient abbeys. In Burmah, monasteries
are perched on the cliffs, like the Romish Convents
of the Levant. Below these bills are about a thou-
sand houses, bordering each furk fur about two miles,
making the city s<>nic four or five miles long, and per-
haps one mile in width. The houses are nearly all low
huts of bamboo, or teak and matting ; but the monaste-
ries are principally of teak, strongly built, some of them
richly carved, and with roofs of five gradations in height.
Shwaygyn excels in the grandeur and elaborate carv-
ing of its public buildings. But what a queer medley
is Burraan architecture ! everywhere of a perfect cha-
meleon order. Look at these hug -erpent spouts,
which join the ruofs, and you think they ought to
have come from the Cyclopean or old Phenician land.
Glance again at these fairy temple- spires, and the
pointed arch, and you cry, " The Goth ! the Goth '."
Look at these monastery domes, and the pavilion
roofs, the relics of sun idolatry, and you say it is Chinese
surely ; but just then you glance at the arch turned
into a horse-shoe amidst flowers, and vines, and mosaic,
and you cry, "Arabian!" but another look, and you
declare it is no Arabian, and nobody's order at all.
BURMESE PAINTING. 71
Symes tells us that the King of Paghan destroyed one
thousand arched temples, and four thousand square
ones, to obtain bricks and stones to build a contemplated
wall of defence against the Chinese. From this we may
conclude that the Burmese formerly built of stone. The
most curious little temple perhaps in Burmah is the
Peepul-Fane of Tavoy, where the branches of an old
peepul have taken root close around the idol, and com-
pletely embower it.
One of the monasteries which I visited was orna-
mented with paintings, among which were the four
Buddhs who have already blessed the earth, three repre-
sented upon thrones, but Debendea, the third, as always
pictured, sitting upon the sacred lotus. Three nuns
were bowing before them, and when I begged of them
not to worship, " I '11 worship, worship, worship ! " one
repeated till I left.
Burmese painting seems to be all of one type. But
there is a barbaric inspiration in it after all. Perspec-
tive, foreshortening, chiaro-scuro, graduating tints, and
the softening outlines they have no idea of, yet they
make eloquent pictures without them. Their figures
are often struck out quite in proportion, with the bold-
ness and freedom of a Correggio ; yet they seldom know
what to do with the feet, and pack them up as much
out of the way as possible.
In Burmah, paintings of all kinds, good, bad, and
indifferent, are valued according to the size — one rupee
A Shan painter wanted me to sit to him for my
portrait, which to encourage the old man I did, but
when he got to the eyes, he could not make them torn,
so one morning I said, " Let me take the brush," which
he did, but as soon as he saw the picture was looking at
him, he gave a cry of terror as if it had been "an evil
eye," dashed down his pallet, and fled. I never saw
Burmah lias a genius for painting as much as Italy,
but this base valuing of art as chips and blocks sup-
presses any attempt at rising, and so they drudge on by
the old monastic rules of Mount Athos. The wall
paintings of the temples are usually the best. The most
antique arc monochromes executed in gold bronze on
The Burmese always expend a great deal over their
dead. I took pains one time to enumerate the articles
borne to a grave. The deceased was only a carpenter's
wife, yet there passed five maidens with flower pots, five
with bamboos, two with harps, six with oil jars, eight
with water jars, eight with pillows, six with mats, ten
with jars, twelve with cocoa-nuts, ten with bananas, all
followed by some three hundred people. The house was
crowded with invited guests, all chatting in lively groups,
and feasting. The young men were attending outside
to two immense cauldrons of rice and ciuTy ; the old
women were making confectionary, and the young women
preparing loads of betel-leaves. The married men were
the only class allowed to be idle, and they were looking
on enjoying the scene. The festival cost the poor man
many hundred rupees ; but pillows, mats, &c, were
FUNERAL FEAST. 73
borrowed from the Kyoungs and returned, — a common
practice when one is unable to meet the expenses.
After the burning, a sheet was held over the ashes
by seven persons, who perambulated the pyre seven
times, each- time elevating and lowering the sheet.
The few small bones remaining were then deposited in
Anciently the Karens always buried their dead. They
have the old Welsh custom of lighting tapers at the
head and foot of the grave, and their wail-dirge sounds
much like the coronach. The chiefs place small darts
around their pyres to prevent the spirit from returning
home. They also tie strings across the streams as
bridges for the ghosts of the departed to get conveniently
over to their graves.
At their funerals they engage in a game prefiguring
the struggle of man with evil spirits, and then chant a
dirge, recognising the truth that sin brought death.
In the plastic art the Burmese exhibit some degree of
skill. Like the ancient Greeks, they colour and drape
their figures, and frequently provide them with imita-
tion eyes. Burman bronzes have some of them as
delicate a green, and appear to be quite as skilfully cast,
as the bronzes of Egyptian museums. Papier-mache
work is earned on in Tounghoo, and some of it is
executed with taste and skill. They understand a
coarse kind of mosaic in running vines, flowers, a lion,
peacock, or other simple subject ; but fine mosaic of
Burmese execution I have never found. Painting on
glass and ivory is done to perfection by the Mussulmans
74 THE SWORD OF TUE SPIRIT.
of Delhi, but not much understood by Burmese. Their
chessmen, however, their ivory-hilted knives, and cocoa-
nut-shell work, Bhow a good degree of skill in delicate
Among the beautiful trees on the Sittang river is the
Nauclea Kadamba, It was Sunday, and Mr. Mason
had just closed his services under the wide spreading
branches of this tree, when a little skiff came gliding
along silent as a wavelet.
" Ho, brother ! take mama into your skiff?" cried
The man is a Highlander in his mountain tunic, who
has never seen a white woman. Quite frightened, he
pushes on faster and faster; then Shapau hails him,
and finally succeeds in bringing him to shore. The
skiff is only big enough for three to sit safely in. So,
giving my Tutauman the bow, I take the centre.
Shaupau reads to the boatman the Gospel of St. Mat-
thew for an hour, steadily, carefully explaining every
word until he comes to the account of Christ's healing
the lunatic. Upon this the stranger stops, lays down
the oar, and, taking up a small joint of bamboo very
carefully deposited, he empties the whole contents de-
liberately into the river.
" There ! brother, I have been twenty miles after
this Ootee, or charmed water, and paid a rupee for it ;
but henceforth I worship this Yasu Kriek who healed
the crazy man !" Is it not " the Sword of the Spirit?"
There is, far inland, a hidden hamlet, a deep glen
flanked with mountains. Here we find all the women
FLEE ! flee! 75
like Ruth gleaning in the fields, and a high time these
buccaneer brothers are having over their great fires on
the shore of the creek, where they are drying their jerked
deer, having just beat up a huge stag in the thickets,
and killed him in their bamboo traps, made like a bow
and arrow loosely covered from view. With great
wonderment all dropped their work and stood gazing, as
I stepped down the precipice right over their heads.
Both men and women listened with attention and
astonishment to the message of a Saviour's love, and a
few followed me down to our encampment, promising to
learn to read. I have never seen them since, but on
returning from America, two years after, we heard to our
great joy that they had a flourishing little church in
that place. " The Lord hath spoken."
Another Sunday morning we turned to the west, a
mile over an unreaped rice-field Ml of water, to a hamlet
of Pwo Karens. Not one would receive us. We sought
shelter with a poor woman in a stable. Very reluctantly
she consented to receive us ; for she evidently feared
some terrible calamity would befall her in consequence.
We talked and read to her about the poor in body and
poor in spirit. She seemed interested, and I quite for-
got that there were buffaloes beside us. Suddenly she
screamed : " Flee ! flee ! " I had just time to glance
round, and saw the buffaloes had stretched their noses
on a straight line, as they always do when about to
charge, and their eyes burned like coals of fire.
" Flee! flee ! " cries the woman, snatching her babe ;
but just at that moment the leader breaks loose, and
dashes past us so near, that his awful homs graze my
" Thank God, we 're safe ! "
" Come in, friend ! come in, friend ! " shout all the
women at once, and e\ery heart is opened. Mats are
spread, and they are now disposed to regard as as gods.
"Look here," says an old woman who passes for an
eldress, after I have been telling her that Cud is always
"Why, the Elders told the Karens the Bame thing,
and my grandmother used to say, Yuah was like this" —
waving one hand just above the other. The Omnipre-
sence of God known to this wild heathen woman !
Moored again farther up the Sittang. A woman ap-
pears on the shore with an eye that 1 cannot mistake ;
I am sure that is a Pwo Karen, though she is dressed in
the Talaing robe.
" Sister," I say, " have you any husband ? "
"Lady! white lady! you speak Pwo?" Instantly
she was at my feet, entreating me to go to her house,
and could scarcely be restrained from bearing me away.
On reaching her house, I commenced reading the Gospel <->f
Matthew in her language. With the true Karen spirit
she could not be content t< < receive so much pleasure alone.
" Teacheress, read ! read ! " she says to me eagerly,
having assembled all the neighbours.
I read the Pwo; she interprets into Talaing, for a
whole hour, the Talaing women quite as much delighted
as the Karens; for they never before heard of Christ,
and not one of them can read at all in any language.
Suddenly I stop, and strike up in Pwo —
" Alas, and did my Saviour bleed ?"
The men, hearing the singing, throw aside their dahs
and baskets, and assemble around the house, pressing
up the ladder.
Hark ! what 's this ? Crack ! crack ! and crash, we
all go on to the ground !
" Read on ! read on ! " cries the Karen woman.
"Light! light! give us light." S ) there I sit among
the ruins, and read the stories of the crucifixion and
resurrection, and certainly I never felt so near the un-
seen and eternal. We are in the middle of the account
of Christ casting out devils :
" What 's that ? what 's that, lady ? Tell that devil
story again. Yasu Kriek kill the devils ? "
We read it again when the man — a fine-looking
Karen of some thirty-five years — steps out :
" Lady ! lady ! You see this cord (the nat-cord worn
on the wrist) there ! " wrenching it off, " never again
will I offer to any lord but Jesus Christ/' This was
really a very decided act, for usually the nat-cord is the
last thing Karens will give up.
On our returning two years after, we learned that
this man had been baptized, and was the leading deacon
of a little Christian church in or near his own village.
TOTJNGHOO, AND WHAT WE POUHD THERE.
I happened to be the first white woman who ever en-
tered either the city orthe kingdom of Tonnghoo, bo that
my poor face was as much of a curiosity as the mermaid a
i'i\\ years ago in America, and all the way ap the vil-
lagers thronged us to see the wonder, ami disctu
merits. The great point was whether it was a fair
specimen of the race. ,
" Wa ! wa ! " exclaims one, "I thought them a great
deal whiter — but then I dare say many are whiter than
"No, I don't believe they are," joins in a prim young
belle, sitting so as to look over the first one's shoulder.
"I didn't think the colah woman very handsome."
" Hae ! " grumbles a matronly chaperon, as sin-
some young men approaching: "yon know nothing.
They're not white like jackets. I dare say sh<
white as any of 'em."
" Koungtha ! koungtha ! " cries a gay young fellow,
jauntily Hinging himself off after a furtive glance.
"Anglaik very pretty — Burman woman taematke" —
(very black), with a teasing laugh at the ladies. And
FIRST WHITE WOMAN IN TOUNGHOO. 79
it really does seem to tease them to see fairer women
As Mr. Mason was not ready to go up into the city,
and wished to wait for the cool of evening, I attempted to
proceed, thinking I would have time to prepare a com-
fortable place for his reception. A native of the city
stepped forward, and very politely volunteered his ser-
vices as guide to the house, which he professed to know
I followed the man, as it was only about a mile, and
on he went till he reached the principal street, when he
began to inquire of everybody where the white lady's
house was. This, with my being the first white woman
ever there, attracted such a crowd, it was impossible to
" Don't you know the place, friend ? " I questioned in
" Don't know Th'kyen," and vanished out of sight.
Seeing a good road in front, I escaped from the crowd
to that, and meeting a Madras servant who could speak
English, I tried to make him understand my wants.
" Did some carts go there this morning with tin
cans ? " he asked.
"Oh, then, I '11 find it in a minute. Missus, please
So again I walked on, on ; and soon pale faces began
to pass, one after another, all in the same style of dress —
dark trousers, checked shirts, with military forage-caps
loosely covered with white muslin havelocks. Imme-
80 RETRACING STEPS.
diately it occurred to me that Ave must be drawing near
the cantonments. As quick as the thought flashed, 1
stopped short once mure with —
"Boy, where a/re you going \ " rather sharply.
" To master, missus. Master kn^ws all about it."
"And who is your master, pray ! "
•■ Major H , of the Madras Fusileers. He lives
close by — right here. Missus, plean come."
" Oh, no, no/' I replied; but before the words were
half uttered, he hud whipped out of sight behind an old
kyoung that looked as if it might possibly have been
changed into a bungalow. Not earing to meel a stranger
just there, I instantly turned, and attempted to I
the wall. But at that moment my Burman servant
took a fancy to leap off after the Madrasee, thinking he
would find the house immediately. " Shwaho, Shwaho!"
I called, but in vain. The last I saw of him was his
yellow silk patsoe streaming on the air, as he Hew, John
Gilpin-like, up the street. Finally, I walked straight
on, as if quite at home, back to the landing, and found
Mr. Mason wickedly enjoying the spurt, because he did
not care to have me get into the city before him. He
had called a Burman cart, and I concluded to patronize
that, although I had rather any time walk two miles
than ride one in this vehicle. Wearisomely it dragged
its slow wheels along. The driver was a malicious-
looking fellow, and was continually walking his bullocks
up on to the bank ; but at last we got safely over the
gullies into the bazaar street, and turned off into a re-
tired square, where we found an enclosure bounded by a
bamboo trellis some fourteen feet high, and covered with
blue flowered creepers. A huge double gate was flung
open to receive us, and in front of a pleasant green plat
stood the keep of the former Myusaya, or city recorder.
This building was our home while we remained. It
was a true native-built house, of teak, probably a hun-
dred years old ; sixty-seven feet long, set up seven feet
from the ground, built in three separate portions, three
roofs joined together by huge water-spouts of teak.
The verandah was strongly barricaded, and behind the
reception-rooms of the master and mistress was the
Now, imagine this old city on the Sittang, which has
been shut up three hundred years from all the civilized
world. Think of a wall five or six miles round, some
twenty feet high, and thick enough, with the inner em-
bankment, for a carriage drive. A large brick church
now stands upon it, with dwelling-houses and palm-trees.
The wall is constructed with bastions and battlements,
and with four pagoda turrets, watch-houses for the
guardians of the city.
Tounghoo must once have been very handsome, with
its towers, and spires, and statues ; with its broad,
regular streets shaded with palms ; its monasteries,
temples, pagodas, and palace, all surrounded by palms ;
its many huge gates ; its encircling flagged walk and
carriage road, and its moat extending clear round the
city. The moat was said to be sixty yards wide, and
was filled at any moment by secret channels from a
beautiful lake within the fort. Then the grand bridges
82 PALM WINE.
across the moat, adorned with statues, rich car
and the national peacock-emblem, mounted <>n pillars
in every direction, sixty and eighty feet high ; with
ma<mificent tanks, caravanserais, and rich rice fields. I
do not wonder that old Tounghoo in its glory excited
the rapidity of European adventurers, as Bnrman history
savs it did. The Portugnese navigators made their way
up to this city and t""k possession, but the ^"vernor
lost his life in consequence. Tin- Burmese then held it
as a principality of Ava until it fell into the hand- of
the English in I8t
When we entered Tounghoo, there might bi
thousand palm-trees counted in and around the city;
but Tounghoo history says that there were six thousand
in ancient days. They yield a sweet wine in
abundance, that is much Boughl after. It is dealt out
to the troops in daily rations, and much of it is used t<-
make yeast for bread.
Most of these trees are planted by the priests, and
arc. of course, attached to monasteries, especially the
corypha palm, which supplies the l>o<>k leaf fur the
priests and schools. The corypha dies immediately after
it has once blossomed ; but the Burmans affirm that it
is always a hundred years old before it blossoms. The
palmyra palm flowers annually after fifteen or twenty
years. I saw in Tounghoo, in 1853, five or six hundred
coryphas in blossom all at once, a sight seld"in Been,
and, of course, as the TanyaJca or "vintage of the palms"
approached, there were grand times in the city. Every
where women and children were running, and men walk-
PALM WINE. 83
ing with business-like rapidity, tugging bamboos to
secure their trees. Palm wine is not obtained like maple
sap, from the trunk, but from the top of the palm. The
tree is ascended by a ladder, and just as the fruit begins
to form, the flower is cut off. The stem is then turned
down into an earthen vessel, or into a bamboo, which is
secured to the place by means of a slight frame around
the tree. When the juice is drawn into an earthen
vessel, it is sweet ; but if drawn into a joint of bamboo,
as frequently done, it almost immediately becomes
intoxicating ; and if it is not sufficiently spirituous,
the strength is increased by dropping in a few broken
areca-nuts, when one glass of the liquor will intoxi-
It is curious to see these men and boys go up the
tall palm-trees. The bamboo ladder is made about a
foot wide. The climber has only a patsoe, or cloth,
girt around his loins, to which is attached his knife,
threads, ratans, and everything, with a dah, or short
sword, thrust in behind, and two little earthen chatties.
He begins to ascend by cording the ladder strongly to
the trunk for a few feet up, then goes up and ties again,
so continues tying on the ladder, and ascending at the
same time. Of course, it is very slender, and looks most
hazardous, but one ladder would hold up half a dozen
Each palm yields about seventy-five quarts of sap in
a season, valued at six rupees, or more, so that two
thousand trees would yield a revenue of twelve thousand
rupees, Now, many of the palms have been destroyed
84 TOUNGHOO PONIES.
to make room for buildings. Indeed, whole avenues
were burned down by the priests on the approach of the
English. The palm-gardens are sold annually at auc-
tion, for, I think, ten thousand rupees.
Each tree yields about one hundred and fifty fruits,
used mostly for sweetmeats ; but I have made tarts or
pies of the pulpy part, quite as good as pumpkin pies.
The leaf, of course, is highly valued for writing,
especially the corypha ; and scrips of palm leaf, with
Government orders, are common still among the native
Modern Tonnghoo is mostly built without the walls.
extending some three miles alonir the river.
The residences of the officers are a kind of Anglo-
alhambras, magically fascinating, as everybody -ays
who comes to Tounghoo. Then the gardens are per-
fectly charming ; the drives, too, are very pleasant, and
the ladies of the cantonment daily enjoy them with their
Tounghoo is a famous mart for ponies, which are
brought down in great numbers from Monay, a large
Shan city, a month's journey to the north. They vary
in price from twenty to five hundred rupees. I have
seen very good ones bought for thirty rupees, and a pair
of splended iron-greys for five hundred.
The officers keep a pleasure boat, and a moon-light
sail up the Sittang is one of the pleasantest pastimes
for the English gentlemen and ladies. Game is abun-
dant in the region east of Tounghoo, and the officers
often go out shooting, while the ladies spread pic-nics
THE PROVINCE. 85
for them among the caravanserais of the celebrated Seven
Tounghoo is well fortified, and the place is strongly
garrisoned, chiefly by English soldiers, so that an enemy
could scarcely take it, except by stratagem, cutting off
the commissariat boats in the river, or by coming in
stealthily in disguise from the north.
This city is about two hundred and forty miles north
of Rangoon, two hundred miles south of Ava, one
hundred west of Siam, and eighty east of Prome.
Tounghoo is the capital of a province about eight
thousand miles square. History says the ancient city
was founded six hundred years ago by the Karens,
and even now the province is pretty nearly divided
between Karens and Burmans. The population is
estimated at 50,000, including Burmese and Takings,
and thirty thousand Karens, but there are two hundred
thousand Karens adjoining these in a state of inde-
The Karens once occupied the plains of Tounghoo,
but the Burmese, they say, having a knowledge of books,
drove them back and took their lands.
Mr. Mason thus describes the climate of Tounghoo :
" We have a delightful climate here on the moun-
tains. It is March, and the thermometer was to-day, at
sunrise, 58°, the hottest part of the day 84° ; and
while I write, 10 o'clock p.m., it is 65°. It has not
been higher than 87° since my arrival, and with one
exception the mornings and evenings have never been
hotter. Then we have a fine thermal spring at the foot
86 CLIMATE AND EXPORTS.
of the hill, particularly good for liver complaints, good
for consumptives, good for people who have coughs, and
good for people who have no coughs ; ' good for fevers,
nervousness, erysipelas, impurity of the blood, inflam-
mation, melancholy, sick headache, pains in the chest,
side, back, and limbs ; bilious affections, and all other
diseases!' What more attractive place for an invalid?
Then for those who are not invalids, there are the
steepest mountains to scale that can be found in this
" After leaving the alluvial plain, near the river,
not an acre of level grass is to be found anywhere.
The whole coast is a pile of mountains rising to steep
ridges, at an average angle of 45°, oftener more than
less. Sick or well, then, happy or melancholy, send
your patients to Tounghoo — the sanitarium of Burmah !"
Teak, rice, and betel-nut are the principal articles of
export in Tounghoo. Silk is cultivated in some parts
by a tribe of wild men called Baings, among whom it
might be very desirable to introduce Christianity. The
Karens bring in sesamum seed, cardamom, turmeric,
tobacco, beeswax, honey, swine, oranges, mats, bas-
kets, ratans, and bamboo; but the most valuable pro-
duction brought by them is betel-nut, the best in all
We had been in Tounghoo a short time, when two
Sgau Karens came in from the western hills. One of
them wished to learn to read, and stopped with us. His
name was Sau Kamoo.
It was only a few mornings afterwards that he came
up in great agitation, crying out, " They'll kill me !
They'll kill me !"
"Who'll kill you?"
" The Myuthugyee, or city magistrate."
" Do right, Sau Kamoo, then trust in God."
" Oh, mama don't know these Burmans."
At last I made out his story. He had been waylaid
by a Burman head-man, who inquired what he was
doing at the foreigners.
" Learning books," he answered.
" A Karen dog learn books \" exclaimed the Burman
with profound scorn. " See here, wretch. If I catch
you round in the city after to-morrow, you see this ! "
brandishing his sword over the trembling Sgau.
Servant announces, —
" A peon, ma'am."
" A peon ! " I go myself to meet the officer.
" What is it, peon ?"
" The Karen."
" Well, what of the Karen ?"
"The magistrate calls."
(t Show your paper."
" Not here, Th'kyen."
" Then begone. Tell your master to bring his au-
thority ; but when the Karen goes to court, the white
lady will go too."
I send off to the Commissioner, and acquaint him
with this persecution.
" Have no fears, Mrs. Mason," he replies, and sends
me the following; note : —
" My dear Mrs. Mason, —
" If you find any slaves in my province, tell them
they are free to go -where they please, and to learn what
they please. — E. 0. Ril: y.
" Commissioner of Tounghoo."
I transmit a copy to the magistrate, and hear no more
from him ; but, of course, if we had been under Burmese
rule, there would have been a very different ending of
It is the boast of Burman slavery that it is only
debtor slavery ; but the shrewd Burmans know ways
enough of increasing the debt to any extent and making
it utterly unredeemable. So fraudulent and violent were
they in their dealings with the Karens, that the English
Commissioner, soon after taking Tounghoo, issued a
proclamation forbidding any Burmans to enter the hill
settlements without the permission of the head men,
and then to leave whenever he chose.
The governor and recorder had fifty or sixty slaves,
most of whom were driven off to the north when the
English were approaching. Some of them had heard
that the foreigners liberated slaves, and refused to go ;
but they were caught, and barbarously tortured by
cramping the hands until the pain was unendurable, and
so they were forced to flee into perpetual servitude.
A case occurred near the city soon after we reached
Tounghoo. A poor fatherless boy was passing through
a garden, and, being hungry, plucked an ear of corn and
ate it. The owner saw him, and thinking he would
make a good field-hand, immediately had him caught,
AFRAID OF THE TEACHERS. 89
and taken before the head man of the district, and
having slipped a bribe into the hands of the man's wife,
the case was decided according to his own pleasure.
The boy was fined twenty rupees, and as they knew he
could not raise it, he was sold to the chief's son for the
amount. On hearing of this cruelty, we immediately
sent a note, saying that if the boy was not released
within two days, he would be cited before the Commis-
sioner. He was soon sent home.
These were our first pupils ; but not one had yet ap-
peared from the eastern hills, the real Karen land. Time
was passing, and Mr. Mason began to feel greatly soli-
citous about it. Finally, I told my tutauman to go and
stand in the main bazaar road and watch, for I knew
the Karens must come to the bazaar or market some
time for salt. He went and watched all day with no
success. Went again the second day, none appeared.
Again the third day :
" Well, Shapau, none to-day ? ' Three times and
out,' as we used to say when school-children."
"But I'm not out. Here they are though dreadfully
He had stood till he saw, on the third day, a small
number coming with their bamboo spears, fierce, wild,
and savage-looking. They approached very timidly,
going round half a mile out of their way to avoid any
of the English or sepoys.
" How do you do, brothers ? A white teacher has
come — a Karen teacher," Shapau said, grasping their
90 flying snirs.
They saw he was a Karen, but they could not make
much of him, for he spoke a dialect different from any
they had ever heard. They understood a little Burmese,
and he made them comprehend that a forei<m teacher
had come from the west.
" "We know," they answered. " Did he come in a big
boat ? "
" Yes, a long way. He wants to see you."
" See us ! We know. He wants slaves to put in the
flying ship. No, no, we don't go. He'll carry us off
where the sun goes down."
" But there's a white lady come, the teacher's wife.
She won't let anybody carry you off. Brothers, come
and see !"
" Oh no, no. Where are the flying ships ? "
" Why, the ships are gone home again."
" Aye, gone ? "
"Yes, brothers, don't fear. Come and see. You'll
love the teachers."
At last he succeeded in coaxing along three, and there
they sat, canine style, before the gate. I went out, and
offered them my hand, but they had no idea what for.
Finally, they ventured into the house, and how their
eyes did open, when they saw the slave child learning to
read, and Karen books too ! They seemed like beings
wild with delight, yet their emotions were visible only
by their eyes and rapid talking one with another.
They gazed at me as if I had just dropped down from
the moon, and when I made them up each a little roll
of salt, they quite forgot the flyimr ship.
yuah's words. 91
We asked after their home, and they pointed to the
distant hills. We inquired how many days it took them
to come, and they counted three fingers.
We asked how many houses there were in their vil-
lage, and they held up one finger.
We asked how many in the house, and they spread
out all their fingers and toes, then clapped their hands
twice, then held up all their fingers again. " Knaza,
fifty," I said, in Burmese, when they nodded, much
pleased that I comprehended them.
Suddenly, as they were about leaving, I felt impelled
to send out the little book which Mr. Mason had pre-
pared in Karen many years before — the " Sayings of the
Elders." I told Shwa Moung to write on the fly-leaf
in Burmese : " Yuah's Words come back to the Karens,"
and bade one of the young men go over the mountains
and show it to all his countrymen. Mr. Mason stood
by, smiling approval, but neither of us had much idea
then of the results ; and yet I felt a hidden assurance
that God would bless it.
Days passed, however, and I believe weeks, and no
Karens came again. Once or twice Mr. Mason rallied
me about my " Faith book," but finally it was quite
forgotten amid the deeply interesting scenes with the
Burmese, who filled our house daily to overflowing, and
kept Mr. Mason preaching from morning till evening.
Every Burman officer, great and small, from all the
region around, came to pay his respects — not, however,
until they heard of the proclamation given regarding
the Karens, when they concluded that I was " the
92 A SUEPEISB.
Queen's sister ! " (their expression for a favourite with
the Government). This perhaps led the nobility to
come; but the poor also flocked in, and we had reason
to believe they came from a true desire to hear of the
new religion. Some of my interviews with the women
were thrilling, and excited me so that I could scarcely
sleep or eat. One day I was talking to a h
full of women, through my inter] niter, for I could not
speak Burmese, when a tall handsome man rose up from
the door, where he had been .sitting unnoticed in the
" Lady, lady, let me tell that," he exclaimed, and he
began and narrated a history of the creation and fall, as
perfectly as any Christian could.
Mr. Mason was deeply interested in this man. He
stated that he was an officer in the last war with the
English and Burmese; that his son was killed by a
shell on the taking of Shwadagon. He was seeking t'^r
his dead boy on the battle-field, when he saw a white
book on the ground. He clapped it into his bag, and
after interring the remains of his son, he started back in
his boat for Tounghoo. There, lonely and sad, the
white book recurred to him. He took' it out. It was
the first paper book he had ever seen, and he was led
to notice it on account of its whiteness, and its being
there so like a spirit, he thought, beside his boy.
" Wonder if Moung can read this ? " he said to him-
self. He throws aside the oar, flings his mat down on.
the bottom of the boat, and there, drifting on the river
alone with his God, he read that Christian tract. It
THE WHITE BOOK MAN. 93
was " The Balance," by Dr. Judson. He reached home.
His wife and daughter came, eagerly inquiring for the
" Gone — gone with the dead. The god let him die.
Why should we worship ? " and then he took out the
book, and read to them. It comforted them too, and
so whenever they felt distressed about their dear boy,
they would take out the white book, which seemed
almost to take his place in their affections.
To our great surprise and joy, this man's wife and a
beautiful daughter, I should think of sixteen, came for-
ward, and corroborated all the officer had stated ; and
he immediately said, like the Ethiopian officer, — " See,
here is water : what doth hinder me to be baptized ? " I
have ever since wished that they had been received, but
it was so sudden, and as Mr. Mason was just leaving,
he counselled them to study the Scriptures, and defer
the ordinance until he should return. The wife and
daughter, too, came forward before our houseful of Bur-
mese, and applied for baptism. The daughter had
learned to read on purpose to read the white book her-
self, and I have no doubt is now a hidden Bible-reader
in the interior of that dark empire.
On our return we found the family had gone, — had
been driven away, without doubt, on account of their
new faith ; for the magistrates well remembered the
man, and spoke of him as that Yazu Kreik man.
We heard of him in Baumo trading, but he still had
the tract, and went everywhere reading to the people, so
that he was known as the " White Book Man."
94 A TALKING BOOK.
I think it was some three weeks after I Bent ont the
little Karen book, that we were assembled for prayer
with the Burmese, when a company of Kan us appeared.
They came up at once to the verandah as if Bent for,
and seeing us at prayer, they bowed down with th
At the close, the leader, a white-haired, majestic chief-
tain, came forward very respectfully and laid before me
a roll of plaintain leaves. Then, after gazing into my
face very intently, he began Blowly t" anroR Fold
after fold was laid aside, and last he came to a dry leaf.
Out of which he took the identical little 1 k that I had
sent out !
" Will the lady explain '" he asks, reaching forward,
"A real little dove!" Mr. Mason .-aid. after his
quiet, intense manner, his eyes brimming with emotion,
while my own ran down with tears of joy and thankful
ness. Mr. Mason immediately hrought out the Harm
Bible, and read to the chief the first chapter of I
and though it was a dialect somewhat different from
his own, he understood that it was in Karen, and told
their own traditions. He clasped the book to his heart
and howed down before it three times, exclaiming, —
" It has a spirit ! It talks Karen ! It talks Karen ! "
He then brought out a little roll of 1- u an
offering to the spirit of the book ; beeswax, or candles,
being a most sacred offerinc: to the eods.
This chief was an old Nat worshipper, and had been
a kidnapper, but he returned to his village a preacher of
righteousness. His people never again made offerings
to the Nats, and the first Christian church organized in
THE MORNING STAR. 95
Tounghoo was, I believe, in his village, where, and in
the adjacent villages, there are now a thousand redeemed
heathen sending up their anthems to Jehovah.
Of course, the tiny book had very little to do with the
matter. It was an olive leaf, as Mr. Mason said, and
no more ; but God uses such a small thing, just as He
did the clay and the spittle, to show forth more mightily
His own power and Godhead.
"The Morning Star of Tounghoo!" Mr. Mason
said with his quiet thoughtfulness again, as the chief
We had gone up amidst great unbelief on the part of
our friends, but still hearing the voice : " Go up. Ye
shall not fear them, for the Lord your God He shall
fight for you." And now, in this visit of the high-
lander., we recognised the bow and beheld the Angel of
THE MINSTREL AND HIS BATTLE SONG.
There came in one day a tall, light-brown chief-
tain, with large melancholy eyes, and an uncommonly
pleasing countenance, habited in a striped cotton
tunic, girded around him like a Highland kilt. His
costume and bearing were not very unlike that of a
Highlander I once met on Loch Lomond. His long,
black, shaggy hair was half confined by a narrow red
turban, and a curious shaped basket was hung over his
back. He carried a long bamboo spear, which served
both for a weapon and a staff. Eight or ten swarthy
six-foot mountaineers, attired like himself, accompanied
him. These men had none of the ingeniousness visible
in the leader ; but their eyes were ever restless, as if on
the alert for a foe.
" Has God's Son come down from heaven, lady ? A
man told us so on the mountains, and we've come to see
" Yes, brother, but — "
" Where is He ?" interrupting with eager eyes. " Is
He here ? In Rangoon ? In Bengala ? Tell us quick,
lady, for we've come to see Him ! "
THE KAREN CHIEFTAIN. 97
" He has come — sit down, brother — He has cjnie,
but He's not here. He's gone back to heaven, but — "
Instantly the tall chieftain turned and strode away
with all his followers.
" Stop ! stop, brother ! He has left a letter for you,"
I called after him.
No answer — on he goes, and disappears. In about a
week he returns.
" Lady ! good lady !" he calls, putting his head in at
the open door. This time he accepts a seat, and throw-
ing off all reserve, tells me his country's history. There
is something peculiarly striking and original in his
words and manner. He is all soul and fire, mingled
with the most persuasive grace and a handsome figure,
with a very high brow.
As I sit listening to his painful romance, the palm sha-
dows fall in colonnades around me, and the sky and earth
meet and mingle in one deep golden glow. All is still,
save the low, murmuring voice of the Highlander, and
fancy throws together his romantic tales, uttered now in
prose, and now in hurried rhymes in his own tongue.
SONG OF THE MOUNTAIN MINSTREL.
This Minstrel Chief had often known
The pain that waken'd sorrow's tone,
The pang that wrung the bitter groan,
The suffering deep, borne all alone,
Yet borne it patiently.
" I've seen," he said, "my clansmen part
Driven in chains to the debtor's mart,
Beneath the lash to toil and smart,
98 THE MINSTREL.
Or droop and die of a broken heart,
Yet strange, / did not die.
" One had a wife — a dark-eyed bride —
How did his heart beat by her side —
Or when she near would softly glide,
Spreading repast at eventide
In her sweet, winning way !
" He saw her look, as she fondly smiled,
Suddenly changed to terrors wild ;
He saw her limbs with fetters piled —
Her arms outstretch'd for her infant child,
Then snatch' d away.
"He saw it all — God ! what pain
Upheaved, and burn'd his madden' d brain
Convulsive, fierce, he grasped her chain —
Vaunting, they flung him back again —
He senseless lay.
" Deep sunk that wrong as a burning dart,
He could not from her image part ;
At midnight still he'll often start,
And think to clasp her to his heart,
J3ut clasp the air.
" He'll watch each form with features fair,
Each beauteous head of raven hair,
Then round on all will wildly stare,
Or his own dark locks with anguish tear,
To find her never there.
" He's sought her far, he's sought her near,
Where tigers prowl he has has no fear —
Will stand for hours and list to hear
Aught that recals that voice so dear,
Then sink in dumb despair.
THE MINSTREL. 99
"Time now has lull'd this cankering pain,
And reason calm'd his throbbing brain ;
But still hot tears will pour again,
Which a heart like his can ne 'er restrain,
Over his lonely prayer."
Again the Minstrel glanced his eye,
To mark if any Burman high
Should be behind, or drawing nigh,
To hear the tone, or note the sigh
Of wrong and misery.
And finding none but friends around,
With an alter'd look and an alter'd sound,
That spoke the Highland fire,
Boldly he pitch'd his voice again —
Boldly he sung of Shembuyen,
Striking the martial lyre.
Kyouk Long ! — dreaded name — how the echoes groan !
While the monk counts his beads in an under tone,
And if one ever dares the fiend's story to tell,
The abbess hides quick in her cloister cell.
They say — I don't know — 'tis a horrible story,
That puts to the blush all our legends hoary,
How he called a fair maid from the fairest Shan daughter's
To join him on Ava's soft, murmuring waters.
"Do you love me?" he cried in a ruffian tone,
As she crouch'd at his feet there all alone ;
" Do you love me, maid ? speak quick and be free ;
For / am no lover of courtesy."
"Yes, my lord," she breath'd with a stifled sigh,
Though tears almost blinded her beautiful eye :
100 MOUNG KTOUK LONG.
" I will serve my lord if he bid till I die,"
She murnmr'd so low and falteriiigly.
" Then up," quoth the Chief, " and come to my side,
I'll make thee my bridt. — my headsman bride —
We'll brim the red beaker, we'll brim it long,
And the Nats shall join in our nuptial song ! "
Then opening a case in his low, thatch'd room,
There clanking with amiour, and frowning with gloom,
He drew forth the bridals — strange suit for a maid —
Red turban, and jacket, and glittering blade !
" Don this, my maid ; this never can hide
The lip of my bride — my warrior bride — "
Then his baldrick he snatch'd from the beam above,
Buckling it to her with, " Love, maid, love ! "
His swarthy arm around her was thrown,
Her tresses fell back, and were loosely blown ;
" Oh, Heaven ! " she cried, as backward she shrunk,
And low at his feet in agony sunk.
" What 1 ho, slave, up ! No tears with me,
H'e two are for foray and revelry ;
Look to your weapon, nor heed ye a groan :
If ye blench at blood, it shall drink your own ! "
Now hark ! a moan, a moan !
Again, a stifled groan !
Five noble heads are on the ground,
Hot orphan-tears are bubbling round —
To Moung Kyouk Long a welcome sound :
The headsman bride is standing by,
Quivers on her lip the pleading sigh,
She dare not pray, she dare not cry,
Nor seek a pitying eye.
MOUNG KYOUK LONG. 101
'Twas thus that pass'd this Ava chief,
Scathing the land past all belief,
Shooting, spearing, branding, flaying,
Every day some Burman slaying ;
And this poor girl, the headsman bride,
Coop'd in his tiger den,
Was forced to travel by his side,
To sing, and dance, and wander wide,
And slay her threescore men.
Moung Kyouk Long was the Commander-in-Chief
of the Burman forces on the Sittang river, east of the
Irrawaddy, during the last war between the English and
the Burmese. He was the Queen's brother, a most cruel
tyrant ; and the story related above is true. He did com-
pel a Shan girl to follow him as executioner for noble-
men, so as to inflict upon them the shame of dying by
the hand of a woman. In Shwagyn the tyrant drove
many Burmans to despair, by taking from them their
young brides. One swore revenge, and attempted to
escape to Ava to report him to government. He was
brought back and flayed alive, and his body impaled by
the river, where the English found it on entering the
city. The wretch was subsequently thrown into prison
at Ava, and, I believe, left to starve. The poor girl
was at last set free, but she was almost a maniac, she
had suffered so terribly.
]()2 FUTURE OF TOUNGHOO.
THE FUTURE OF TOUNGHOO.
Xnw away, ye Natsoes!* ye wild Elfin stories,
Ye Poongyees and Zaidees, and all idol glories,
Meukaule is conquer'd, his banner La furlM,
And God re-appearing, encircles the world !
The Christian has triumph'd, our nation is free !
Oh, hail it, ye brothers I hail, hail lilierty!
Yes, liberty ! lilierty ! Bound it along !
Unfurl the new banner with trumpet and song !
No more shall we groan with our bondage and "
Or writhe in the grasp of .>ur merciless
No more shall the slave-fetter tarnish our name,
Or the "One God" prophet be branded with shame.
No, come now ye Wise Men and sing of salvation,
I' 1'inption ! redemption to ever}' nation !
" The Book" is come back to us ! clasp it for ever,
And bear it triumphant o'er jungle and river!
And I see — oh, I see, to this glorious fountain.
They run from the valley, they leap from the mountain !
They come — for a Saviour for sinners is bleeding !
They come — for a Saviour in mercy is pleading !
Light! light down the future is rapidly streaming !
The East and the West with its glory are beaming ;
All nations are looking — all nations are ben
And praise to Jehovah from all is ascending !
The Karens were enslaved by the Burmese, and ti.
has been during all the Burnian rule a perpetual struiiL r l<'
* Natsoes — Demons. Poongyees and Zaidees — Priests and pagodas.
M< uJcaule — The Karen for Satan.
"THE BOOK." 103
between them, the Burmese seeking, by every power,
by craft, and by their superior knowledge of books, to
bind them in servitude ; the Karens, on the other hand,
fighting for freedom, and struggling to maintain their
own rights and lands, or fleeing from them to inacces-
sible glens and fastnesses in the mountains. There was
no hope left for them, and nothing to excite them to
rise, for as soon as one obtained any property, their
sharp-eyed officials were down upon them, and nothing
but ruinous bribes could secure to them a single comfort.
They have ever had seers and wise men among them
instructing them in their biblical traditions, and be-
cause of these traditions and these priests, they have
often been made to suffer by their idolatrous rulers.
" The Book " of the Karens, the only one they seem
to have any remembrance of, contained the words of
Jehovah. Their wise men say there were seven brothers,
and they, the younger, had God's word on skins. They
were careless, laid it at the foot of a plaintain-tree, and
the White Brother carried it off, and by it became the
favourite son of God. This looks much like the story
of Jacob and Esau. They fully believe the White
Brother is to bring it back to them from north-western
Of course, the minstrel did not utter all this exactly
as it is here written. He told it to me mostly in
prose, and through an interpreter, but with such poetic
fire and inspiration, it moved me to pencil it down
that very night, almost word for word, as I here give it.
This chieftain was son-in-law to the high chief of the
104 KAREN CHIEFTAIN.
Mopaga tribe. He came to see me, I think, every week
after this interview, and listened with intense interest
to the Scriptures. He was soon afterwards baptized,
and has since been one of the warmest advocates for
female education. In 18.39 he was made captain of one
of the Karen companies in the Tounghoo Military.
FIRST CHRISTIAN SCHOOL IN TOUNGHOO.
" Karens have books ! " say the minstrel and his
warriors. They hear the children reading. Wonderful !
" Lady, lady, hear! We like this. It hits our
hearts. Give us rice ; just one meal. "We will keep
your Holy Day and worship. We wish to hear, but
we are poor men. Lady, hear ! Yonder on those
mountains are our wives, our little ones. Lady, we
cannot buy. If we buy and stay here idle, our wives
and our little ones will die. Pity us, good lady. We
have only mats, baskets, and seeds. Lady, hear !
Give us to eat just once, only once. We will fast the
This pleading came from the lips of half a dozen tall,
armed chieftains from the hills of Tounghoo. We had
been telling them they should keep the Sabbath-day
holy, and not return on that day.
What could I do ? " May I give them rice V s I
questioned eagerly of my husband.
" You cannot There is not a rupee in the treasury
for any such purpose."
106 THE RICE POTS.
" Husband, God will send it. Only say I may try,"
I plead again.
" It is certainly rash ; but if you must go to work on
faith, then go to work."
Oh, how my heart bounded ! How happy I was I
shall not try to tell you, reader ; but immediately I
bought a basket, five feet square, filled it with rice, and
bought also two dozen rice chatties or cooking puts.
Then I stood beside it, and saw it measured out, so
that each man had enough for one meal, with a little
fish and salt. Each group of ten were provided with
cooking vessels. Of course, they cooked for themselves,
and this first day cost me about ten dollars, or twenty-
So it continued for four weeks. But, then, what was
gained ? Just this. Crowds of heathen men, some
heads of families and of villages, have listened four
Sabbath-days and nights to the Scriptures — listened,
too, as few heathens ever do listen, quietly and solemnly.
At night they strewed the floor all over every room
but our own bed-room, so that I was obliged to tell
them to pull up their heels to make a path for me to go
through, for they put heads together and heels together
as close as they could stow themselves. The interest
manifested was intense — burning, past all description.
Our six native preachers were planted over the whole
area, one in each corner, their own arrangement, and
there they would lie and question, the assistants
answering, till it seemed as if they must be utterly
THE CONTRIBUTIONS. 107
" You say this wonderful man is God's Son. How
do you know ? Did you ever see Him ? Did He come
down in your country — in the Anglaik land, in Ran-
goon, or Bengal ? Did you ever see anybody that did
see Him ? How do you know your book is true ? You
tell us God's Spirit is like the wind, but which wind 1
We have north wind, south wind, cold wind, hot wind —
is God changing like the wind?" All these, and a
thousand other questions just as strange, were asked in
rapid succession ; so that the last thing when I lay
down at an hour past midnight, and the first when I
awoke at five o'clock, would be these same wild but close
questionings, showing that the Holy Spirit was doing
His work on the earth.
Four Sundays have gone by — the most interesting,
thrillingly interesting Sundays I ever knew, but my bill
for rice has run up to many dollars. I cannot go on,
small as the gift is ; so on Monday morning I begin
speaking to every company that comes in, asking if they
cannot help me to fill up the basket.
" It is so little," I say, " that I have supplied, I am
ashamed to mention it ; but I have no more money."
What is it that has so touched those savage hearts ?
Why do tears start under those sun-crisped locks ? Oh!
sympathy, that blessed angel, has descended, and now
the image of God comes out. If there is anything left
in the likeness of Christ upon earth, it is sympathy.
" I have no money," says one, "but would a mat
do ?" he asked very timidly.
" Oh yes, give a mat ; anything will do."
108 OTJR HOUSE.
" I can give a basket. Will the white lady accept a
" Yes, brother, bring your basket/'
" Brother, bring mama that honey," says a chief,
pointing to a bamboo joint he had set up against the
" Here is a bit of beeswax," says a fourth, fumbling
in his wallet.
So the flame catches, spreads, and soon the report flies
over the hills : " Mama has got an eating-basket, and
anybody can put in whatever he likes."
This showed just what the Karens wanted in Toun-
ghoo — a head — a responsible leader to inspire them ;
plan for them at first, and step by step raise them
It was not a very pleasant thing, indeed, to have our
house full of such filthy, vermin-covered figures as the
Karens of Tounghoo then presented. I recollect a lady
in the States could not allow a trunk in her house
that had come from Burmah, lest it should bring roaches
into her rooms ; and it was hard at first for me to ac-
custom myself to all the unpleasant sights and smells
in our own house, and over our own well. But what
are such little self-denials by the side of the Brook
Our four slave children were hard at their studies,
attracting the gaze of every strange mountaineer that
ventured to put his head in at the doorway.
Next comes the earnest entreaty :
" Mama, teach my son."
YOUNG MOUNTAIN CHIVALRY. 109
" And mine. Please pity us."
Again comes the trial of faith. " May I, dear hus-
band, take a few?"
" How can you ? There are no funds."
" It shall not cost the mission a cent, — a single cent,
— only say yes."
" Well, yes. Try, if you will, what you can do."
"What is it, lady?"
" You must promise to bring down the very best
young men that you have, and let them become
Whispering — stammering — " Can't do that, good
lady. Can't give my son for a Sahib."
" Nor I," joins another, and another.
I suggest to them to go and think till morning, for I
can take them in no other way.
At early dawn half a dozen heads peer through the
" Lady, white lady, very good — very good/'
Giving them a piece of chalk, I request them to mark
out their country on the floor. They do so, amid much
merriment, of course. Then, dividing it into twelve
parts, I tell them they may bring twelve young men,
one from each district, that is all I can take, and
if they should bring slow learners, they won't do at
A few days pass, and the young mountain chivalry
stalk up to the verandah with their short tunics, their
long streaming hair, and their baskets strapped upon
their foreheads. I have to put them immediately into
110 MY BANK BOOK.
quarantine, until they Lave taken one thorough lesson
at the hath.
Taking up the soap, one of the party, a wild Bghai,
bites it, then flings it spitefully into the hedge. Finally,
Shapau succeeds, by setting the example himself, in per-
suading them to try the soap, which, in the end, perfectly
delights the whole party.
The young men are hard at work, but how ? I have
to speak to them in Pwo. My interpreter tells them in
Burmese, which is all Latin t>> them : then they learn
the Sgau Bible, while they themselves are Pakus, Mo-
pagas, and Bghais. But strange truth, and as < i
raging as strange, in two months these young men can
all read quite correctly, and with a goi 1 ■
The whole cost of the twelve young men, and of the
foul" Sunday feedings, I have assumed entirely myself
and without knowing the least where I shall find a
penny. I ask for it, though, every day of One who I
know has it in Iiis treasury, and never for a moment
doubt but it will come. "If ye abide in me, and my
words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it
shall be done unto you." This is my bank bock.
A fortnight goes by. A Colonel calls with his Lieu-
tenant. The younger officer hands me ten rupees, which
calls forth this little answer :
" Lieut. J. P. Maud :
" My dear Sir, — Somebody says, ' llunning streams
are always clear.'
'• I can readily see why you feel an interest in the
god's rewards. Ill
salvation of the heathen ; you have kept the sympathies
of the heart clear hy outgoing, and I am sure the hun-
dred-fold reward will be yours, for nobody ever yet lost
by investing in God's mission-bank.
" My husband has translated the Bible for the Karens,
but it remains a sealed Word to them until they are
taught to read it, and not one can yet read in all this
Tounghoo province. I can but recognise in your
thoughtful and kind donation the hand of an over-ruling
I then alluded to an incident in the life of one of the
principal civilians then in Burmah, who took an orphan
child, an East Indian, left to grow up in heathen igno-
rance, educated her, and thereby saved her from tempo-
ral and eternal ruin.
I believed it was one secret of that officer's success in
life, which had been very remarkable.
What was my surprise to receive the following : —
" My dear Mrs. Mason, — Now that I know your
work, I shall use every effort in my power to assist you
myself, and get others to do the same. It is a sin to
see a theatre springing up in Tounghoo, where no Chris-
tian temple has yet been raised to the God of our salva-
tion. Many subscribe liberally to theatres and races
from mere thoughtlessness, and need but a word to
stimulate them to higher purposes. As I have a dear
sister, perhaps you will kindly name the little slave girl
after her, and I will send you every month ten rupees
for her and the boys. — Believe me, dear Mrs. Mason,
very sincerely yours, J. P. Maud, 5th M.N.I."
112 THE REPLY.
Nor is it a sudden or idle start with this young
officer. He sets to work, goes himself from kyoung to
kyoung, for the officers then in Tounghoo all lived in
kyoungs, raised a subscription, and relieved me of my
pecuniary embarrassment. Thanks to God, and thanks
to his kind heart ! I have never seen him since we
left Tounghoo, a month or two after, but I cannot think
of his brave, unselfish spirit without remembering that
to him belongs the honour, under God, of establishing
the first Christian school in Tounghoo.
Mr. Mason was much struck with the reply of one of
the young men in this school. The question arose as to
where each should go to commence his teaching, when
one, laying his hand firmly upon the Bible, said, —
" I know where I shall go. I go where the Hvhj
Book goes." We had but one copy of the whole Karen
Bible in Tounghoo. This man was a Bghai Karen, the
first Bghai that had ever learned to read, and lie did as
he said, followed the Bible, and sat down beside it until
he was baptized and sent to a foreign tribe ; and you
will hear from him again by and by.
Until Mr. Mason went up to Tounghoo, only two clans
of Karens were known. Red Karens had been heard of,
but travellers thought them Shans. Kali Kyens had
been heard of, but they too are still thought to be Shans.
Books had been introduced among the only two clans
known, Sgau and Pwo.
The Karen nation is broken into three great classes,
each class comprising many clans and sub-clans. Two
classes are called the Two, or "Mother Branch," and
KAREN CLANS. 1]3
the other the Sgau or " Father Branch." The Pwo
Class has more or less of the nasal sound in its lanQoiag-e,
while the Sgau Class has none. The Pwo Class embraces
Pwos, Mopagas, Sanches, Hershoos, Gaykos, and all
the mother Pwos above Tountrhoo. The Sg-au Class
embraces Sgaus, Pakus, Mauniepagas, and Wewaus.
The third, and largest class yet known, is the Bghai,
embracing Tunic Bghais, Pant Bghais, and Red Karens,
but it is probable that many more will yet appear as the
country opens. The Kah Kyens are undoubtedly the
chief Karens, as the name implies. The Kyens will,
perhaps, be found to be an offshoot from this nation,
and the Kemmes of Arracan another branch. These
classes differ a good deal in their habits of life ; the
Pwos claim to be the princes. They seek the plains
and surrounding mountains, and are great hunters.
They build mostly in separate houses, but in the-Tenas-
serim mountains I found their houses built long enough
for three families, divided into compartments, each divi-
sion in tent-shape. This may have arisen from their
old Syrian custom of demanding the services of the son-
in-law three years for his wife.
The Pwos generally are better livers than the Sgaus,
and bear in their figure, manner, physiognomy, and all
about them the air of princes.
The Mopagas come next on the north in this class.
They are a small clan, or part of a clan, so far as yet
known, and they very closely resemble the Pwos in
physiognomy and independent manners. They are not
herdsmen, but a race of hunters, especially bee-hunters.
114 THE BGHAIS.
The other tribes of the Pwo class are as yet but little
known. The Sgaus in their songs boast that
" As Sgaus have the words of Jehovah,
Sgaus wall pay no h.^e for killing a Pwo."
The Sgau- speaking class is docile, peaceable, and
much given to husbandry. Karens of this class live in
separate houses, with gardens attached. They cultivate
oranges and betel-nuts in abundance, with yams,
beans, and cotton. With a little encouragement and
patience they would supply all Old and New England
The Bghais are the most wild and singular of these
clans. No stranger is admitted into their villages with-
out a guide, and even then he has his quarters assigned
him, and must remain there and eat of every dish set
before him. It is the duty of every family in the village
to carry him something as a mark of hospitality ;
to refuse it would be to declare war at once. Sick or
well, hungry or satiated, it matters not, eat he must of
every dish — dog-curries and all. If he refuses a single
one, it is a slight to their hospitality, and he is a spy in
the camp ; but if he submits with grace to these feudal
customs, he becomes their friend, and the honour of the
whole village is concerned in his protection ; a custom
common, I believe, among the North American Indians.
They had a place on the mountains where they brought
blankets, betel-bags, mats, baskets, &c, to barter for
handkerchiefs, turbans, coin, knives, sugar, and salt.
The Burmans are particularly fond of using false weights
ROB roy's rock. 115
and measures, but they never dared attempt it at this
mountain bazaar. If they did, death was the penalty
without judge or jury.
At this place the Bghais used to settle all disputes,
and compel the Burmese to do them justice, like Rob
Roy and the Lowlanders. I was reminded of the simi-
larity of this custom to those of the ancient Scots.
Once, on Loch Lomond, a Highlander pointed out to me
Rob Roy's rock. " Here," said he, " Rob would take
the Lowlanders, and say, 'An is it that ye '11 gie me
twenty black coos ? An is it no that ye say ? Then
say y'r prayers quick, and be aff/ and over they went,"
said my informant — himself a Macgregor, in kilt and
plaid and long stockings, — "over they went into the deep,
black hole that ye see yonder." Many are the stories
that the Burmans tell of the Rob Roy khans of their
mountains, and there is certainly much in their bearing
and feeling that reminds one of the old Scottish clans.
KAREN DRESS. WITCHCRAFT. MY TUTATJMAN.
The Bghai Karens have some peculiarities of dress
not observed in the costume of the other clans. For a
head-ornament they wear a huge boar-tusk set in copper,
with bells of the same metal attached. This is secured
to a knot of hair, and worn on the crown of the head,
the horn upwards. It is worn only by men, and just as
white men adorn themselves with stars and ribbons to
show the world their bravery. They also wear little
bells attached to their pantaloons.
Bracelets and bangles are worn both by men and
women. These are usually manufactured of copper and
zinc, and one individual will sometimes wear several
pounds weight besides eight or ten chains of beads, and
forty or fifty rings of horse hair on the wrists and just
below the knee, like the old Welsh knee-bands. I have
seen Karen women with ear-knobs of ebony as large as a
silver dollar, so bright as to be used for mirrors ; and I
saw a Siam Karen chief, in the mountains near Siam,
with cylinders in his ears as much as two inches long,
and I think an inch and a half in diameter.
The native Karen dress will, in a few years, become
DRESS PATTERNS. 117
almost extinct, like that of Scotland, for, like ourselves,
they have a great love for foreign manufactures. With
the Pwos it has been already superseded by the Bur-
mese, but the tribes of Tounghoo are rapidly adopting
a sort of Anglo-Shan costume, very comfortable and
As the Scottish chiefs had distinguishing plaids to
mark their clans, so the Karens have clan emblems on
their dress. The general costume of both the Pwos
and the Sgaus is merely a loose tunic, reaching just be-
low the knee, but often for chiefs made down to the
ancles. These tunics are simply two breadths of cloth
sewed together so as to leave holes for the head and arms,
and are worn sometimes falling off one arm. They are,
as nearly as possible, like the tunics figured on the bas-
reliefs from Nineveh that I saw in the British Museum.
The betel-box and purse are carried in a handsome
I am told that the Cosyahs of Upper India also wear
the same style of dress ; and Major Biddulf, of India,
who had travelled among them, told me they were striped
with red, blue, and white, and sometimes with red and
blue, with fringes and tassels, like the Karens. I have
wondered if the patterns on Karen dress were not hiero-
glyphical, a branch of the picture-writing of Egypt and
The Mopaga tunic has very narrow perpendicular
stripes of a brilliant red. The Bghai has a wider stripe
of a duller red. The Sgaus and Pakus are plain, but
the borders of each are their chief feature. The Mopaga
118 ANCIENT ARTS.
border is from two to four inches in depth, closely
wrought with silk in beautiful vines and characters.
The Mauniepagas weave theirs in narrow stripes, in a
great variety of patterns. The Sgaus sometimes weave
a border twelve or fifteen inches deep, of circular stripes
and laboured patterns, and again, others a foot and a
half deep, of entire scarlet silk floss. These are common
on the western hills of Tounghoo. The most delicate
little vine-patterns creep round the neck and arm-holes.
The Karen woman's dress consists of two garments, a
robe and jacket ; the Pwo robe is striped circularly, the
Mopaga perpendicularly. Their border is often of work
that would vie with almost any tiling in the looms of the
West. The Karen robe is whole, girt straight around
the waist, and tucked into one large fold. The jacket
is very pretty. The Pwos and Sgaus embroider over a
ground of blue, the Bghais over white. The Pwo jacket
is always wrought with brilliant silk floss, and a girl
will be a year in embroidering one. The work seems to
represent a sunrise, and the shading and blending are
most beautiful. Its usual price in Dong Yahn is ten
rupees. The Sgau jacket, on the contrary, seems to
represent evening, with all the stars coming out on the
deep blue sky. These stars are made very perfectly of
long white seeds, like rays. The Bghai woman's jacket
is woven, not wrought, with a nap of scarlet floss up to
the armpits, then a crescent and seven rays over the
bosom and down the back.
The Pant-Bghai men wear loose white pantaloons only
eighteen inches long, wrought with rich silk borders.
THREE WIVES. 119
They certainly excel in the arts of dyeing and weaving,
and they understand perfectly the use of mordants, so
that they can make as brilliant and durable a purple as
Lydia, or 'any of the dames of Tyre.
These relics of a higher state of the arts point to the
north-west, and seem to prove that the Karens were once
in a higher position than at present. So their bamboo
work seems to point to a higher knowledge of weaving
and architecture. They weave in this a great many
I once met a Chief on the Tenasserim river in Tavoy
Province, with a robe like the Hebrew High Priest, all
tasseled. This man had three wives, all of whom
refused utterly to go to the Christian worship till he
gave them a sound beating. Then they went to chapel,
and one was converted ! This was the old Chief who
became a Christian, and had to give up two of his wives.
One, the oldest, was sickly, and the youngest very
pretty. He referred it to the church to say which he
should keep, and they decided that he had a right to
retain the youngest, so he concluded to do so. Then
his conscience troubled him, and he finally resolved that
as somebody else might be willing to take the young,
pretty wife, but nobody would pity the feeble, sick one,
he ought to keep the old one ; so he did, and put away
The Karens, like all demon worshippers, believe in
witchcraft. There was a poor childless Karen in Tavoy,
who retired with his wife to the forest, and cultivated a
small patch of land there alone. After awhile a man
died in the neighbourhood of congestion of the liver.
Dark suspicions began to be whispered that the old man
of the jungle knew more than he ought to know of the
matter. Soon he was openly pronounced a wizard, and
his precincts enchanted ground. After this, whenever
any singular death occurred in the neighbourhood, it
was laid at his door. Finally, a child died of an
unaccountable disease, and, lo, when its body was
burned, a portion of the kidneys was found unconsumed.
This to a Karen is proof positive. The neighbours,
therefore, went up from all parts to the magistrate;
clamorous for the old man's death. They found out
that the English law would give no help, so three stout
young men, arming themselves with axes and knives,
hastened to the old man's hut, and there in broad day
they hewed the wretched man to pieces as they would a
log. When arraigned for trial, they at once confessed,
producing the unburned kidneys as proof that they
had acted only as public benefactors.
The Karen wizard is called by the Pwos " Longch-
erthe — the can-in winder." This dreadful being be-
witches by introducing noxious substances into the
body, as bits of glass, flesh, leather, water, &c, which
things are charmed by him into demons.
A man died in Tavoy of dropsy. He was killed,
they said, by witchcraft. The civil surgeon determined
on a post-mortem examination. The friends were called
in the hope of convincing them of their error.
"Ah," they said, on seeing the quantity of water;
" there it is ! there it is ! "
WHO IS YUAH ? 121
" There what is ? " questioned the surgeon.
" Why, the water-demon which the wizard cast into
him. We thought he was turning him into drink."
One mode of bewitching is by producing dumbness ;
this is done by modelling an image of the person from
the earth of his foot-prints, and sticking it with cotton
seeds. Here is certainly a relationship to the old Saxon
witch that troubled England a few years ago.
Another wizard produces insanity with a hair sus-
pended in a whirlpool. Others use a human skull
concealed in the forest, with daily offerings before it.
The skull is often used also to drive away evil spirits,
such as the cholera demon and the small-pox demon.
They tell wonderful tales, one about a family being
turned into toads.
Burman witches have power over the sea. A sailor,
on coming home in Tavoy, accused his wife of having
been the cause of all his trouble at sea, and gave her a
The Karens have various modes of detecting witches,
among which is the water ordeal. When detected and
alive, the witch or wizard is shaved, and set over a
stream. The Burmese laws decree that if the person
rises, she is guilty ; if she sinks, she is innocent !
In Nicobari, witches arc tied to a tree, and left to
starve ; and when sentence is once pronounced, not even
a daughter would dare carry food to her mother.
" Who is this Yuah you tell of ? " I inquired of the
Karen minstrel, when he repeated a stanza of poetry,
which embodied their old traditions, saying, Yuah made
the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon. Yuah made
man, and all things, just as we have it in Genesis.
Passing strange this, for the minstrel had never before
seen a Christian teacher, or heard of Karen books ; yet he
had the very same traditions that we had found in Tavoy
and Maulmain, two and four hundred miles distant ;
and yet his dialect was so different from the Karen
dialects of those regions, that he could not understand
" Where did you learn this ?" I inquired.
" Oh, far back, anciently."
" Who taught you these things ?"
" The Fathers. Old people."
" And who taught them ? "
" The Mau."
" Who were the Mau ?"
" Don't know. Prophets ; good men, inspired by
This was just what the Pwo Karens had told us
everywhere. When I first met Guapung, she told me
the same story, and a Pwo chief down in the Mergui
Turning to a Paku, I asked, " Have you these same
" And where did you get them V
" A-poo-a-pee — grandfathers and grandmothers."
" Where did they learn them ? "
" The Wie taught them."
BIBLICAL TRADITIONS. 123
Who the " Wie" were, or where they were, he could
tell no more than the minstrel could of the " Mau,"
but this is what all the Sgaus say, dating back to a
very ancient time — it was the " Wie " who instructed
The Biblical traditions of the Karens are singularly
clear and pure. The story of the first man and woman?
of the temptation, of God having dwelt with man, and
of salvation by the One God, they have handed down,
they say, from that ancient skin book.
Who these Karens are, to what people they are allied,
and from whence they obtained their glimmerings of
truth, are inquiries of the deepest interest, for this rea-
son : God seems to have planted His footsteps through
the nations just as He has laid the foundations of the
earth in strata. If we strike upon a stratum of real
precious ore, we follow it. It seems as if He would teach
Christians to do this in teaching the world. If they hit
upon a tribe ready for the Gospel, then it would seem
wiser to follow that stratum or dip of the languages, for
we are sure, it appears to me, to find the same, or a
similar, disposition in all allied tribes, however separated
by other nations.
These terms, " Mau " and " Wie," ought to help us
somewhat in tracing the Karens ; and before we have
done, it may be that we shall find them nearer to us
than we think.
Of all the Karens near Tounghoo, the Bghais are the
most warlike, and it was a question of a good deal of
anxiety as to who should venture among them as a
124 MY TUTAUMAN.
teacher of Christianity. Finally, I asked my Tutauman
who should go.
" Don't know," he replied, and sat for some minutes
in deep thought ; then, looking up very sadly and
timidly, he said : —
" I wish I knew enough to go to the Bghais."
" Perhaps you do, or if not, God can make you know
enough," Mr. Mason answered.
This man, Shapau, had lost his wife and all his chil-
dren but one. He looked sorrow-stricken ; that was all
that was remarkable about him. When alone upon the
sea-shore with my sick husband, I had written a few
Karen letters to the preachers' wives, which were pub-
lished in the Karen " Star." One of these gave a brief
sketch of the Madagascar mission, and another exhorted
them to stir up their husbands, and set off to the Red
Shapau said he had read this letter, and he felt a
strong desire to work among them. This was why
he came and offered his services for this journey to
We became much attached to Shapau, because he was
always trying to improve himself, as well as to do good
to others, so, when he made that reply, I felt sure God
was calling him, and, therefore, sat down at once and
began to catechise liim in the Scriptures. He had
studied but little, but had been a pupil of the Rev. Mr.
* Several preachers, and some women, came over to Monmogon,
to talk about the possibility of a Red Karen mission, and four of
them did subsequently labour in Tounghoo and Shwagyn.
"I CAN DO IT FOR CHRIST." 125
Vinton. I think we sat two hours, when he looked up
" Why, mama, I didn't think I knew half so much !"
he said as innocently as a child. Finally, I told him he
could teach the Bghais, but asked if he could be willing
to give up his child and home, and go and live with
such kidnappers, and dog-eaters too.
" Don't know," he answered. Then, besides, I had
to tell him that he knew the teacher paid him as his
boatman fifteen rupees per month, but if he went to the
Bghais, he could give him only four rupees.
" Would you go for that ?" I asked, after giving
him a sketch of the old Gospel Rangers in Britain and
America. Shapau took his Testament and went out.
He was absent some time ; but when he appeared again,
his face shone with unearthly radiance, at least it struck
me so as he came in.
" Well, Shapau," Mr. Mason asked, for he had heard
our conversation, " what is the decision ? Can you go
to the Bghais for four rupees the month ?"
" No, teacher," very solemnly, " I could not go for
four rupees the month — but I can do it for Christ !"
And he went. There was deep meaning in that eye,
and in that grasp of the hand, when he said, —
" / can do it for Christ."
That man has since been ordained, has baptized nearly
a thousand Bghais, has established some forty churches,
and has since <rone on another foreign mission to the Red
Karens. " For I say unto you, That unto every one
%ohich hath shall be given," saith the Faithful Promiser
126 THE OFFER.
It was one day when the chiefs were in with us that a
letter arrived from Tavoy. It had been sent by the
Christian converts of that province to Mr. Mason, en-
treating him to pity his children there, and not call
away their teacher, San Quala.
" Read it, Shapau," Mr. Mason said to my Tutauman.
He did so, standing up in the centre of the group like a
Saul, for he was almost a head and shoulders above them
all. The scene was intensely exciting. They had no
idea they had any brothers in the south, and now to
find that they were numerous, had become Christians,
and had really and truly written that letter themselves !
Then the question arose — Would they take care of the
great Karen teacher if his people did consent to let him
come up to them ?
" Take care ? Er, er ! "We '11 feed him, we '11 clothe
him, we '11 build him a house. Tell them let him come,"
they answered in chorus ; and then a strife arose as to
who should have him first, but one chief, elbowing his
way along through the crowd to me, said, with a great
deal of quiet determination, —
" Teacheress, take my name."
Much amused, I told Shapau to write it down.
" And my wife's name," again very slow and with
great dignity. We took his wife's name.
" And my sons' names," so down went the sons'
names, when all seemed to think he had gained the
victory. I believe this was the same chief who brouo-ht
in the little book.
Quala came up, and Mr. Mason determined to make
over the mission to his care entirely, during his absence
at home, and see what a native could do in carrying on
a mission alone.
Soon after this I started, under the protection of
an English convoy, to go down for our children in
Maulmain, as Mr. Mason thought he must remain in
Tounghoo a year there before leaving. On the second
night, about midnight, I was awakened with a violent
trembling, and with the impression that my husband
was sick. Something said to me, " Go back ! go back,
or you will never see him again!"
I sat in dismay, meditating upon this strange revela-
tion, some twenty minutes, when I determined to obey.
So, writing a hasty note to the Commanding Officer, I
asked my boatman to turn back. It was midnight, and
they were greatly afraid of falling into the hands of
dacoits. I told them not to fear ; that I would place my
chair on the little deck, and I was sure no robber would
shoot a white woman.
" Hoga ! hoga ! — yes," they exclaimed, and started off
with alacrity. Sitting out so was not very pleasant, for
my garments were drenched with the heavy dews long
before morning ; and, moreover, though I had re-assured
the boatmen, I could not help every moment listening
for the balls of the robbers. As we approached Tounghoo,
we heard of them skirmishing on all sides of us, and of
one or two most daring robberies just upon the shore ;
but after four such nights we reached the city again
Singularly enough, when I reached our bungalow, I
128 ALMOST WRECKED.
found Mr. Mason had really had another attack of his
complaint, and was on the point of starting himself for
Maulmain, so that my return was very providential, as I
could be with him on the way down.
Having arranged this matter, the school was made over
to Pwapau, one of Mr. Mason's old pupils from Tavoy.
A cocoanut grove was purchased, the Sacred Oracles
deposited, and then, amidst prayer and singing, Quala
and I went out with the school and planted a Christian
banner in Tounghoo, with these words inscribed :
" The Holy Book. Eead— Hear."
Then came the pressing of hands, and the tearful good-
byes, in which the poor Shans from Monay came up and
When we passed down, the tidal wave in the Sittang
river rose fearfully, and the waters rushed past our little
boat as if they would instantly sweep every vestige of us
away. It was impossible to advance. The darkness of
night enfolded us, and we sat under our slender cover
listening with no small degree of agitation to the rush of
waters. Just then the boat was lifted suddenly up, and
shot away with a velocity past all description. I screamed
to the boatmen, who were already screaming to one
another, and to the accompanying boats for help. Our
anchor had given way, and had not the men put forth
every nerve to secure her to a larger boat, we should
have been lost. No sooner had they fastened the rope,
than the winds began to rise. Louder and louder they
roared, until they really bellowed along the waters, which
lashed themselves, rolling, tumbling, and growling around
ALMOST -WRECKED. 129
our boats with the greatest fury ; weltering under us as
if they would instantly suck us into the seething brine.
For an hour we remained thus, the billows every moment
threatenino- to engulf us. That was an hour for thought
— tossed in darkness amid the yawning waves and howl-
ing winds ; to think that our anchor gave way just
then, when the tide came — when it was most needed —
awakened the most solemn reflections. In such a place,
one can imagine a little what the feeling must be should
the anchor of hope fail when meeting death's dark tide.
With thousands it undoubtedly will fail, and leave them
to perish. Oh ! what an agonizing moment will it be to
feel that anchor giving way, and the soul sinking into
After the strength of the tide had come in, the men
considered it safest to cut loose, and run before the wind,
which, coming from the east, blew us with great violence
farther and farther out to sea. We were in company
with three or four other boats ; but they were much
larger, carried more sail, and, consequently, soon left us
far in the rear. According to Burmese custom, they now
and then threw out signal lights from their boats, and
with what anxiety did I strain my eyes for those receding
beacons ! Now, as our skiff rode up on a mountain
wave, we could just discern them far away, trembling
for a moment, then disappearing ; now another light
rises, faintly flickering, fainter, fainter, and again all is
darkness. Hark ! a grinding sound ! a ploughing of the
boat ! and the men instantly leaped into the waters.
But it was of no use ; she had struck upon the sands in
130 NIGH UNTO DEATH.
the midst of the sea, some eight or ten miles from land,
as near as we could make out. The tide was fast falling,
and it was impossible to move her. It was three o'clock.
The men had been toiling for seventeen hours without
food, and seeing nothing of our provision-boat, they all
but one left us to go in search of help. The man who
remained, wearied out, lay down and slept ; but sleep
was far enough from me, though chilled through with
anxiety and cold; for I had stood three hours in the
water, baling out, during the fury of the tide.
Never but once did I experience so trying a moment
as this. Mr. Mason was too sick to make any plan,
or think of any proposed. He could neither walk nor
sit up ; and I knew the tide would be in soon after
sunrise, when we should either be swamped, or driven
out to sea without anchor, provisions, or boatmen. Not
a craft, not a soul, was to be seen or heard, in all the
surrounding distance. For a moment death seemed
inevitable, and had I been alone, I do not know but I
should have yielded to the overpowering sensation ; but
my husband lay helpless before me ; and I knew my
little ones, whom I had not seen for nearly four long
months, were anxiously watching for father and mother.
I stepped out upon the sand, and looked up to the Eye
that ever watches over land and sea. The sun began
to rise, and no one had returned. But just then I
descried something like the mast of a vessel far in
the distance, across the wide sandbanks. It was just
discernible, but I instantly resolved to reach it. So,
rolling up a small bundle, I placed it upon the head of
THE EESCUE. 131
a little Karen girl with us, and then tried to help my
dear husband to rise. He made the effort, but was too
weak ; and with feelings indescribable, I was compelled
to leave him. With swift feet Mary and I made our
way over the sands and waters which were beginning to
come in. When about half way over, we met the boat-
men returning :
" We are all lost, mama ! " they exclaimed. But
without stopping, I charged them to run and bring the
teacher, and hastened on. They did so, and soon we
had the inconceivable happiness of seeing him lifted
into a larger vessel, the master of which, not for love,
but for rupees, would take us in. The men had barely
time to secure a few clothes, and a handful of tea and
biscuit, when the breakers came dashing over the sands.
At that momentwe discerned two objects apparently on the
horizon, so far away that it was impossible to tell if they
were masts or human beings. At last my little girl cried :
" Colahthu ! Colahthu \" and we discovered that it
was indeed the colahthu, or cook, with the Burinan
preacher in search of us. In their anxiety to find us,
they did not seem to see that the waters were at their
heels, and it was not without a multitude of gesticula-
tions and exclamations, that they were made to compre-
hend their own danger, and flee to their boat. The
craft we now occupied was a crazy old thing, destitute
of every comfort. It had not even ballast, and rucked
about among the breakers, as if it would surely go to
pieces, but it was a paradise to the other, because it was
132 NEARLY STARVED.
The remainder of the way, I made tea in a bowl,
which was all the sustenance I could get for my hus-
band except a little dry bread, and the poor boatmen
had not so much as that. For two days and two nights,
I believe, they never tasted food, except a few dry rusks
which I succeeded in tossing to their boat. It was
then that I knew why I had been turned back to my
husband in so singular a manner, for had not some
friend been with him, he would probably have died in
the river. No one can imagine what I felt as we rocked
about in that old boat, while these words of my child-
hood came back to me : " You must go to Burmah, and
help Mr. Mason." Truly, stranger than fiction is the
story of one's own life.
GOING TO INDIA — NOT OVERLAND.
LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF THE SEA.
Away ! away ! on the rolling sea,
When the blue waves bound and curl ;
Let the mariner's song pour loud and free,
And the canvas wide unfurl.
Away ! away ! where the Nereids sing
With Arion's harp of old ;
Now toss'd on the foam with the petrel's wing,
Now rock'd on billowy gold.
Away ! away ! o'er the glistening brine,
When the soft air breathes of love,
When mellow tints o'er the waters shine,
Crayon' d by heaven above.
And lightly float on the moonlight sea
As beneath a silver dome,
While the sails are falling gracefully,
And the dreamer dreams of home.
But the sundight down— the night gods frown !
Growling, they're battering the stern ;
Then hurl at the clouds o'er the shivering shrouds,
While billows in darkness burn.
],36 THE SEA.
Now the surges boom 'mid the thickening gloom,
Making all the canvas rattle ;
But the bow drives low, and charges the foe,
The ship and the storm doing battle !
Loud thunders roll, red lightnings fly,
And earthquakes vault'in the waves,
While they heave up their mountains wild and high,
And scoop out their whirlpool graves.
Staggers on the bark in the maddening gale,
And the tall masts reel and tremble ;
While the hurricane winds give a boding waiL
And the heart can no more dissemble.
" Now, hard up the helm ! Let her run 'fore the blast ! "
Comes, as we shuddering wait-
Then the loud trumpet roar : " Cut away the mast ! "
" We're lost ! " shriek captain and mate.
Lo ! yonder a Light ! a high beacon Light,
Looms o'er the threatening doom —
'Tis the Bethlehem Star ! and bright, ever bright,
It guides from an ocean tomb !
We left Totmghoo in January, 1854, and reached Eng-
land in May in the steamer Indiana, spending the summer
mostly in London, Mr. Mason being too ill to see friends.
August was passed in Berlin, with improved health,
studying in the University among Bible translations,
for which purpose we went over. September we came
to Scotland in the steamer Petrel, and were almost
wrecked. At last we reached Boston, in October, in the
Europa, and re-embarked for India in July, 1856,
arriving at Calcutta in November. Mr. Mason reached
A HURRICANE. 137
Tounghoo again in January, and I in April, 1857.
This is the only time that my husband ever left India
during his " thirty years' war " with heathen darkness.
Now imagine us in the Jumna, the graceful Jumna,
that skims the billows like a light sea-gull, or a stormy
petrel on the wing.
We were coming to the close of a stormy voyage. Of
course, everybody has seen a hurricane, but a hurricane
and a cyclone are just as different as a mountain and
Mont Blanc. We were riding at anchor on the Sand
Heads, passing congratulations on our arrival, when a
pilot brig scudded alongside, trumpeting us off to sea
again with all possible speed. Our master paced the
deck, looking as if he could bite the wheel off ; the first
officer bellowed his orders, and Jack went to the anchor
with head down as if going to be flogged. It was not
very exhilarating to go waltzing back into the deep
black waters, especially with the prospect before us of
running our bow right into a Bengal hurricane. But
off we went, like the poor Rajah who, pressed by land
enemies, thrust his head into a rice pot, and rushed into
the waters to hide himself.
By the time we were all under way, the winds were
blowing very hard, and our vessel close upon a reef. I
had heard so much of the dreaded circular hurricanes of
the Bengal Bay, that I could think of nothing but fire,
so terrifying at sea. I noticed that the lightnings,
fierce, hurried, constant, and changing, without thunder,
indicated a cyclone, as described by Piddington in his
" Law of Storms." The answers of the man at the wheel
] 38 DANGER.
also indicated a circular motion of the wind. I was,
therefore, fearing the worst, when I heard the captain
say to the mate in an under tone : —
" The vortex is ahead there."
" It acts like it," replies the officer.
" I know 'tis by the action of the sea."
" Can we do nothing ?"
"Impossible, but I hope she'll outride it; she ought
to ; she's a new, strong ship."
It was true, then, that we were in a cyclone, and rapidly
approaching the vortex, the winds every moment in-
creasing, and the barometer rapidly sinking. The sea
was lashing itself into mountain waves, or sinking in
deep, charcoal-looking gulphs, while its significant seeth-
ing, gurgling sound was very terrible.
Nothing was heard amid the war of winds and waves
but the shrill trumpet orders of the officers, and the
sharp, quick, shouting answers of the men.
Suddenly there was a cry, " Ship on the weather-
bow ! " Up went our helm, out went the trumpets, the
captain, officers, and crew, .all roaring at the top of their
voices. A French barque was staggering right down
upon us, apparently in utter bewilderment. At last the
intrepid mate posted himself right over the bow, and
shook his fists so frightfully, the Frenchman caught a
glimpse of them by the lightning, and put about just
barely in time to clear us ! Had she struck us then
upon our weather-board, probably not one had remained
The hurricane had already raged its twelve hours — six
of them threatening every moment to swallow us — when
the joyful announcement was heard that the barometer
was at a stand. This was at half-past twelve at night.
Fifteen minutes to one o'clock it had begun slightly to
rise, and the axes were put by. Five had been prepared
to cut away the masts, and orders given to be ready, and
had the mercury fallen fifteen minutes longer, they must
have gone, or we should have been engulphed. Sud-
denly again, there was a sort of dying pause in the
winds, while the motion of the sea became more alarm-
ing, heaving mountains of water upon us, so as almost
to capsize the vessel. The lightning chains, too, spanned
the heavens in double links, advancing, receding, meet-
ing, chasing. Then we knew we were in the vortex, but
not in the centre, for if we had been there, the agitation
of the sea had been still more terrific.
We were lying under "bare poles" from eleven o'clock
p.m. to four o'clock a.m., waiting to see if the winds
would rage again, or change about suddenly and drive
us out of our peril. Through the great mercy of the
Most High, in answer to prayer, this happened, and the
winds came round to the westward. It was a solemn
thing to hear the watches called off there in our mid-
night horrors to see who was alive, and who was gone.
It was a solemn thing — the awful stillness of our ship
during that fearful pause, when all who knew their
danger must have been busy with their hearts and with
THE FIRST GIRLS' SCIIO"L IM TOUNGHOO.
The young men of the Tounghoo Karen tribes were
now fairly sent out as educators of their own countrymen,
and many heathen chiefs had become enlisted as sup-
porters of the scheme, for they were to go wherever they
should be called, and depend entirely on the people for
support. This plan Mr. Mason had determined to cam-
out among the preachers also, and make Tounghoo an
example to all the regions beyond, as a self-sustaining
mission. His excellent helper San Quala favoured it.
" Tell the white brothers," he said to me as we Bat two
hours conversing about all the interests of the mission
before we left, " tell them not to forsake the Karens just
yet. We are like children beginning to walk. We
toddle, we fall, but we're truing."
I had now a great desire to enlist the chiefs in a move-
ment for the young women similar to that of the men,
to raise up schoolmistresses who should form elementary
classes all over the mountains as fast as little churches
could be formed, and thus leave the young men free to
go forth as pioneer preachers to the heathen.
Tounghoo was a great country of itself, isolated.
almost excluded from the unhappy influences of seaports.
We thought we might mould it as we would if we began
at once. To make special effort for the men and not the
same for the women, would be doing just what others
have so often done, — confirming the heathen in their pre-
judices that woman was only a slave to work and bear,
not to speak, or sit with her brothers. But make them
teachers side by side, make the education of young
women just as prominent as that of young men, train
the young mothers, and it would tell upon the race
through eternity. I knew that whatever type of civili-
zation or Christianity was introduced into Tounghoo, it
would be carried up through all the mountains of
Burmah, and perhaps farther still, through Thibet and
While in America I could do very little for the
Tounghoo tribes. As a wife, duty called me first to my
sick husband, then as a mother and step-mother too, to
our children, to look after their education, to try and in-
cite them to high and holy consecration and activity; as
a daughter and sister, I had to comfort and cheer my
relatives ; as a friend of the poor student and schoolmis-
tress, to sympathize with many ; and as a housekeeper
with small means and eight in family, to bake, sweep,
and attend to domestic duty. These were my duties
and labours while in the States, but those Tounghoo
women were ever on my heart. What could I do to
begin the work among them ? I had no time or means
to go about to interest friends. Then again the public
feeling forbade it. It could make no distinction between
the schools which take in every child at foreign cost,
and aid-schools which train teachers, and need only help
enough to develope native strength. It would have re-
quired months to explain this matter, besides a kind,
sympathizing helper. One such friend came forward,
the Rev. Dr. Beadle, of Hartford, who, with his ladies,
raised fifty dollars and a box of clothing and stationery
worth fifty more, presented with sympathy — more pre-
cious still — from a stranger, too, whom I had never met
but once ! Noble, geuernus friend ! May the Almighty
send him sympathizing hearts and helping hands ! Un-
doubtedly, others would have acted as nobly if the sub-
ject had been presented to them, but as it was, this,
with five dollars from a lady through the Rev. Dr.
Westcot, of New York, was all that I had to begin
Leaving Boston with so little help for the poor young
schoolmasters I had taken up, and with scarcely a ray
of encouragement for their sisters begging for instruction,
I felt very dejected and desolate.
Many sorrows had encompassed us during our stay at
home, deep, piercing, harrowing, but, I thank God,
subduing ; and now, floating once more upon the ocean,
I could realize how entirely dependent those poor
Tounghoo women were for help on the Arm above. To
that Arm — to that Eye — I resolved to look, and to that
source alone. Then stole out so soothingly those tender
words : " Jesus wept."
Yes, Jesus ! Precious Jesus ! and it was with woman
too, and there came another voice : " It is I, be not
SELF-SUSTAINING SCHOOLS. 143
afraid." Then my soul grew strong again, and calm,
It was very strange, but although Mr. Mason made
every effort, no passage could be obtained for me and my
little boys from Calcutta to Burmah. We even wrote
to a chaplain whom we had known when in Burmah,
entreating him to intercede for us, and he did, but the
troops were being transported to Rangoon, and every
steamer and sailing-vessel was full. Mr. Mason, even,
was obliged to take a deck passage. Before he left, I
obtained his consent to my giving up for a time my per-
sonal support from America, in order to make an experi-
ment, and see if the native chiefs could be enlisted in
managing and sustaining a girl's school themselves. I
had no promises from any living being, for I had not
spoken to anyone in India, and no one in America had
promised the slightest aid, but I knew that to be suc-
cessful the school must belong to the people. I did not
withdraw in the least from our mission ; I only proposed
to find means where I could, and support myself while
doing it, sending reports regularly to the Board, which
has been done ever since. Having settled upon this, I
wrote out a full account of the plan to the Secretary of
the American Baptist Missionary Union, and then shut
myself up with my two little boys in a small basement
bedroom in Sudder Street.
My first determination was to write something while
detained in Calcutta which should create an interest in
the Karen people.
I said : " What shall I do, oh, my Saviour ?"
144 LETTER TO LADY CANNING.
" Ask, ask — if ye ask anything in my name, it shall
be done for you." From that day I asked morning,
noon, and night, and every day my faith grew stronger.
It happened to be at this time that the great act
legalizing the marriage of Hindu widows was brought
about, which moved all Calcutta, and, indeed, all India.
The papers were full of this wonderful movement, begun
by native gentlemen themselves. Of course, I could not
help feeling the most intense interest in such a grand
reform act, that must usher in light and liberty to cap-
tive millions of heathen women, and I could write of
Finally, one morning after prayer, something whis-
pered : " Send up your manuscript to Lady Canning."
There was no voice, but the thought came like a flash.
No idea of addressing Lady Canning had ever entered
my mind before. That same day I sent the following
note : —
" To the Eight Honourable Viscountess Canning,
" Government House, Calcutta.
" Madam, — Feeling assured that every Christian
must take a warm interest in the late great movement
among the Brahmins in regard to Widow Marriage, I
take the liberty, respectfully, to ask if I may be
allowed to dedicate the accompanying MSS. to your
" I would also beg the indulgence of explaining why
I desire it. My husband, the Rev. Dr. Mason, transla-
tor of the Karen Bible, three years ago founded a new
mission in the old kingdom of Tounghoo, in Pegu,
LETTER TO LADY CANNING. 145
under the patronage of the American Baptist Foreign
Missionary Union. On this undertaking God has been
pleased to pour out His Spirit in a most wonderful man-
ner, and the mission now numbers thousands of baptized
believers. These converts have erected chapels at
their own charges, established some fifty jungle-schools,
and support their own teachers. The people are
eager for instruction, so that one teacher has four
districts in charge at once, spending a day with each in
" Our schools have been greatly blessed of heaven,
and during four years that I had the privilege of
instructing one in Maulmain, thirty-eight of my pupils
were baptized, and write me in their own expressive
idiom : ' My heart hits the Lord Jesus Christ exceed-
" For the women of Tounghoo nothing has yet been
done, and I am very desirous of opening for them imme-
diately, in Tounghoo city, a National Female Institute,
for all the tribes, admitting only such as will devote
themselves to the work of instruction. But on account
of heavy financial pressure, our American Board is
unable at present to aid this object. I have, therefore,
resolved to do what I can myself towards making a
" Therefore, I have asked this favour of your ladyship.
" Hoping that my request may be kindly granted,
" I am, Madam, your humble servant,
"Ellen H. B. Mason,
" 13, Sudder Street, Feb. 6tk, 1857."
146 MRS. WYLIE.
I sent it off, praying, believing that God would arise
and plead His own cause.
Weeks passed, weeks of anxiety, yet of humble trust
and continued asking. A servant appears at last, and
Mrs. C. H. L alights at my door.
" I have heard, madam, there is an interesting work
in Tounghoo. I should like to hear particulars. I am
going to Government House, and would be glad to give
Lady Canning some account of it."
I thought— " Truly, this is of the Lord." The next
morning I received the following from —
March \Uh, 1857.
" Madam, — I have been very much interested in the
account you have given me of the Karens, and should
be glad to communicate with you further on the subject.
" If you can call here to-morrow about eleven o'clock,
I shall be glad to see you.
" Believe me, sincerely yours,
Five o'clock here is the time for evening drives. Mrs.
MacLeod Wylie enters.
"Mrs. Mason! Why are you here all alone?" she
exclaims in astonishment. " It was only last night that
we learned the fact of your being still in the city."
" I have not been alone, dear Mrs. Wylie."
" No, no, I understand. Now come home with me."
GOVERNMENT HOUSE. 147
We arrive, and Mr. Wylie, drawing me beside him,
asks what are my plans.
I explain to him a general plan.
" How much do you want to begin with ? "
" Two thousand rupees."
" Oh, my dear Mrs. Mason, I am sorry to discourage
you, but you won't get it! — but Kitmagar!" he calls,
" Bring me pen and ink/' — and down goes at once fifty
rupees for himself, and fifty for a friend of his — one-
twentieth of all I asked !
"Thanks! my dear Mr. Wylie. Now may hap I
shall get it." And then I told him of my invitation
to Government House.
As soon as I could reach my room, and lock the door,
I fell before God, and thanked Him that He had sent
the two thousand rupees. I could not say the one
hundred rupees — I could say nothing but the two thou-
" I was sure an order had been given for it by the
Great Treasurer of missions.
Next day I drove to Government Palace, ascended two
flights of stairs into a long corridor, lined on either side
with exquisite exotics all in full bloom, and a great
number of Hindus, in snow-white drapery, and long
white stockings, without sandals or shoes, all touching
their palms, and bowing to the floor.
Passing into the drawing-room, the Countess Canning
stood before me, arranging some beautiful daisies. She
immediately turned, and, smiling graciously, led me to a
148 THE INTERVIEW.
Ci I am glad to see yon, Mrs. Mason," she said. " I
was very much interested in the account you gave me.
Pray now tell me something of your Karens. W here
did they come from ? That is their religion ? Have
they any caste ? And how do you work among them so
as to bring about such remarkable results '("
This opened the way for me to give the Countess a
description of the Karen and Burmese women, and their
want of education.
" And why don't you present your requests to Govern-
ment, Mrs. Mason V
11 Surely your ladyship would scarcely advise that — I
a stranger, and a woman too V I said.
"Why, yes, I think I would. The Queen, I assure
yon, feels a deep interest in the women of her terri-
I think I sat with her nearly two hours, she repeatedly
refusing admittance to others. Once or twice I at-
tempted to rise, when she gently detained me, saying
she had been much gratified, and should like to hear
On returning home I drew up a brief account and
petition to Government, with the following conclu-
sion : —
•* *• *■ # * ■* *
If the Government will kindly grant the aids
mentioned to make a beginning, I propose, in order
. eke the school permanent, and to enlist the sym-
pathy of all the tribes of Tounghoo, that the land,
buildings, apparatus, furniture, and everything apper-
THE GRANT. 149
taininc to the institute, shall be held in trust by a
Native Board of Managers, chosen at the annual
My friend Mrs. L , who had called before, kindly
undertook to present the petition.
In about a week I received the following reply : —
" To Mrs. Ellen H. B. Mason.
* * * (After quoting the petition)
" As it is understood that the school when once
established will be self-supporting, the Governor- General
in Council sanctions the grant for the following aids,
viz. : —
" 1. A small piece of land with well and fruit-trees.
■• 2. One thousand rupees for the erection of build-
" 3. Four hundred rupees for furniture and school
Just what I had asked for. Who will say this was not
from God ? Who can doubt but it was a great answer
to prayer ? Among other things, Lady Canning ex-
pressed the hope that I would extend my efforts to the
Burmese women, and I replied,
" But it is very difficult, madam. They are trained
from infancy only to be attractive to strangers, that
their mothers may sell them for a high price. There-
fore, the mothers will not let them come to us for
" Then it is a love of money that induces them to fall
into such degradation and sin ? "
" Yes, madam. Simply the desire of gain."
150 A GRATEFUL PEOPLE.
" Then why not introduce some attractive accomplish-
ments by which they may earn a handsome livelihood
themselves, such as colouring or embroidery ? "
Her ladyship subsequently sent me two volumes of
engravings and a handsome donation for the school,
" I most cordially trust your good work will prosper,
and you have my best wishes."
In my reply, I said, —
" I feel sure that when the Karens come to know that
their chieftess cares for them, it will inspire them with
great zeal to support the school, and they will feel their
honour concerned in the education of their daughters.
They are unlike other Orientals, having a high respect
for woman, and a high sense of honour. They are, too,
nationally, a grateful people, and be assured, the incense
of prayer will daily ascend from three thousand warm
hearts, scattered upon the mountains of Tounghoo, in
behalf of your Ladyship and the Governor- General.
GATHERING UP THE MANNA.
" A call, ma'am." Mrs. D. She desires me to dine
with her. I have passed a delightful evening with a
party of Christian friends. The Honourable E. D. is
Accountant- General, and he is one of the chief actors
in the City Missions, in Foreign Missions, in the Bible
Societies, and to my great joy, Mrs. D. takes up a
Native Missionary in Tounghoo, whom they have ever
since supported generously by a hundred rupees a-year.
" Ma'am, a roll for you," said the Kitmagar, one day
on my return from a call. I open it : Two hundred
and fifty rupees ! Thanks ! thanks, my God ! I read :
" My dear Mrs. Mason,
**■ Mrs. M. wished me to hand in this two hundred and
fifty rupees, for the support of a native preacher in
Tounghoo, under your own and Dr. Mason's care.
I knelt before God with my little boys, and thanked
Him for remembering the poor and needy. Dear, good,
sympathizing friends ! Mr. M. was pastor of the Scotch
Free Church in Calcutta.
152 DINNER PARTIES.
Another card of invitation from the F's. On this
evening I made the acquaintance of one who has power
both with God and man — the Rev. Mr. H. ; and on
returning home, find a roll of one hundred rupees from
Hugh F., Esq. " Manna ! manna ! mother," my little
boys say thoughtfully.
Two of the most profitable evenings were spent with
the W's. at small dinner parties. The company was very
interesting, — the Archbishop, with Mrs. Pratt, in-
cluding one or two military officers, the dear Milnes,
Moncrieffs, and the Rev. Mr. Yates, of the Church of
England Mission, who sent me fifty rupees ; here also I
met Dr. Kay, of Bishop's College, whose sermon on
Woman is worth going on pilgrimage to hear.
Mr. W. is emphatically a conversationist. You are
sure to find at his table the most talented, brilliant
talkers and the most earnest Christians of the land,
and I have seen him hold them spell-bound for two
hours. It seems to be no effort or intention, but he
leads you off so easily, you are not in the least aware of
it till you utterly forget you are at the dinner-table ;
at least I did, and could do nothing in the world but
" Why was not Mr. W. a Missionary ? " asked a lady
who had heard his inspiring eloquence.
" A Missionary ! He's Missionary Extraordinary — a
Nah Khan Do — Great Ear Chief — a general hearer and
helper of all parts and parties.
Mrs. W. is as deeply interested as he is in Missionary
work. It was this warm sympathy that induced her to
MRS. WYLIE'S GOSPEL IN BURMAH. 153
write the " Gospel in Burinah," so graphic in its style,
and so correct in its detail.*
These friends usually receive social visits on Thursday
evenings, for the study of the Bible, when their large
parlours are thrown open ; and when I was with thern
in 1860, they were soon filled with Government
officers, merchants, physicians, and young cadets, with
many ladies. Mr. W. gave out a hymn, which all
united in singing ; then prayer was offered, and he read
the ninth chapter of Acts, when all made remarks, or
asked questions, as they felt disposed. Mr. W.'s own
explanations struck me with a strange power, concern-
ing the Lord's direction to Ananias, to go into the street
called " Straight," showing the minute care and know-
ledge of the Lord concerning even streets and houses.
Among those whose acquaintance I delighted to make
was Dr. Duff. One morning I drove round to Wellesley
Square. The Doctor very courteously led me over the
whole of the college. I was much amused with his
" What is the world ? " — " A star in the sky."
" How is it kept revolving round the sun ? " — " By
" What do your Shasters say ? " — " That the earth
sits on a tortoise."
" Does it ? "— " No."
* This work is republished in New York, and I was told that one
Clergyman in the west sent for a hundred copies, saying nothing had
ever stirred up such an interest in that region.
154 REV. DR. DUFF.
'< Then your Shasters tell a lie, do they ? "— " They
do," with a laugh.
" If your Shasters lie about one thing, will they not
about others ? "— " Yes, Sir."
" Do you believe in the gods about here in Cal-
cutta?"— No, Sir.
Who is God ? " — " The Eternal Creator, and Jesus
Christ, His Son."
** Do you believe in Jesus Christ ? " — " Yes, Sir."
" Have you become Christians ? " — " No, Sir."
" Why not ? " — " Our parents will not allow us." *
In the evening I took tea with Dr. and Mrs. Duff,
and a number of Christian preachers, Hindu gentlemen,
and one or two of their wives. I can truly say they
were gentlemen in every sense of the word — thorough in
the Scriptures, learned in the classics, and seemed to
have imbibed much of the Doctor's own spirit — zeal for
the holy war. As I looked upon the master and the
pupils, and saw how his inspiration was diffused among
them, and how they loved him, I could but think how
much more blessed it was to give than to receive.
I called on that patriarch, Lacroix, who had been
there thirty years at work, yet nobody would have
thought him growing old ; for he came out with such a
beaming eye and elastic step, I could not help wish-
* It is a significant fact, that while the Government College has
no Bible taught, and is open to all, there are only about a thousand
students, while Dr. Duff has all his pupils read the Bible, and
preaches Christ to them every day, yet the school numbers fifteen
MKS. MULLINS. 155
ing that some of our woe-begone young pastors, and
Missionaries too, could grasp the hand of this then
brightening yo u ng old Missionary soldier.
One of the most successful workers was Mrs. Mullins,
now deceased, as well as her sainted father. She had
an interesting orphan school, and was a pioneer Bible
reader in the Zenanas of Calcutta.
In India it has hitherto been said, the laws of Menu
and Confucius say, " Give a woman letters or know-
ledge, and you give a serpent milk." They know as
well as we that " knowledge is power," therefore woman
must never possess it. If a little Hindu girl dares to
learn books, she will surely become a widow, that is,
be cursed of God and man. Little girls are married
there when between eight and ten years old. They
have nothing to say about the matter. Their fathers
trade them off to the one who offers the highest rank or
the fullest purse. He may be a very savage in disposi-
tion, the father replies : " She 's only a girl." Even at
birth the degradation of woman commences. A mother
forgets all sorrow "for joy that a man is born into the
world ; " but, alas ! if a girl, her grief knows no bounds,
and she is obliged to remain a week longer in her out-
door den alone.
By and by the infant begins to sit alone. Now, if it
is a boy, it is set upon a mat, and bright gilded toys are
given it. If a girl, it is set in the dirt, and an old tile
is its plaything. So it is through life. Widowhood is
only a change of masters ; but then in widowhood, if
she has no sons, her husband's brothers are her rulers,
156 WOMAN DEGRADED.
and she becomes a slave to the caprice, envy, jealousy,
and ill-temper of heathen sisters-in-law.
She must ever after stand in their presence to denote
servitude ; when they lie upon a bed, she must lie upon
the floor ; when they have their dainty viands, although
they too must eat after their husband and out of his
sight, yet the poor widow must crouch away even from
her sisters, and eat her one meal a-day of roots and
herbs " boiled," as the law prescribes, " in one pot."
She may cook fish for her sons, but never taste it ;
she may array her sisters in gay dresses, she must never
put off her coarse, widow weeds. She may fit off her
favoured sisters for an airing in their vails and polkas,
she must never step foot outside of the high picketed
wall of her master's enclosure ; she may bring books for
her lords, she may never read a letter ; and the more
sacred books she may never hear even, lest, alas ! she
should obtain some glimmerings of knowledge to solace
her lonely spirit. Such is woman's lot now among the
helpless millions of India, and much the same through-
out a great part of Asia, and this is why the preseance
of power has been removed from all these eastern nations.
They are doomed every one of them, and because they
have so degraded woman ; and very likely this is one
great reason why the Jews refused the Messiah, for they
too had adopted much of heathen philosophy in regard
to her position. Even now, in the enlightened United
States of America, their women are not allowed to sit
with men in the synagogue, or to join in any part of the
Hebrew service, not even in the singing.
Yes, God made man a monarch, but gave him a limited
monarchy ; and whenever he turns it into a despotism,
he falls with it. Everywhere and in every department
this holds true ; the reason we shall come to by and by.
One of the most elevating schools in Calcutta is the
School of Arts, where young men are stimulated to
emulate each other in drawing, designing, modelling,
engraving, and lithography. It is a noble institution,
and a beautiful thought ; but why should the founders
think only of young men ? If there was a female depart-
ment, it might do much to elevate the women of India.
I sent my card to Pundit Vidyasagur, the native
gentleman who, with Baboo Vidyarutna, brought about
the Widow Marriage Act. He is President of the
Sanscrit College,* to which he very politely escorted me.
On one of the shelves I saw an elegantly-bound volume
of the Bible, to which I called attention.
" Yes, madam," the librarian at once replied, "yes,
and there is Hume" laying his hand on another volume
of the same size, and just as elegantly bound, lying on
the top of the Bible. Government presented the Bible
to the college, so they did not dare refuse it, but they
covered it with Hume !
Vidyasagur attended me to see a widow whom he had
been educating, much to his honour. She was then a
respected teacher in a school ; a lovely young creature,
so inspired with her work, and so inspiring, it did one's
heart good to meet her.
I went to see Mrs. Ewart's school for Jewish girls.
They had an excellent teacher. It is difficult to instruct
158 ORPHAN SCHOOLS.
these girls, because their parents care very little for
sound, useful knowledge, but insist on their being tho-
rough in the geography of the Twelve Tribes. It cer-
tainly requires a good store of patience to drill any girls
for hours on the localities of Dan, Gad, and Napthali ;
however, by perseverance in this particular, Mrs. Ewart
has the privilege of teaching them a thousand things
about Christ and heaven.
I visited several orphan schools. There is one con-
nected with each Missionary denomination in Calcutta.
Dr. and Mrs. Duff have founded a school for the high-
caste girls, and have forty or more taught as yet by a
heathen pundit, but this is an improvement on the past.
The light of Calcutta in female education is the Normal
Central Institution, for educating teachers.
The gentlemen in India seem to feel much deeper in-
terest in the elevation of heathen women than our
brothers in America do generally. This ought not to be.
They may say English officers ought to do more for
India. True, but America has its Indians, its negroes,
its poor white girls. And then, America is a great
country of educated mothers, therefore we have a right
to expect from her sons some help for these millions of
heathen women in Asia.
These first schools are like leaven, and will work, and
the Missionaries, with many others in Calcutta, are in-
defatigable labourers in the cause. But the population
is so dense ! Mrs. Wylie says : " In Calcutta alone
there are probably three hundred thousand females, and
within a radius of twenty miles around Calcutta, there
BIBLE-READING WOMEN. 159
are perhaps not less than a million. Only a few of all
this great multitude can read — only a few have heard of
the way of salvation."
What India now needs most is a corps of Bible-
reading women, of high cultivation, irrepressible zeal,
and entire consecration. If the gentlemen would just
help these to go as sappers and miners, they would next
have to prepare quarters for a surrendering enemy.
There is a Sunday-school in Calcutta helping in this
work, that interested me deeply. The superintendent is
Robert Scott Moncrieff, Esq., and he represents a class
of earnest, primitive lay Missionaries scattered all over
India. He is a young man just rising, making his own
way upward. He rises because he keeps the only
sure path — integrity, hard work, perseverance, patience,
faith, and trust. But, while toiling unremittingly in a
counting-house, with heavy responsibilities, he still finds
time to be Sunday-school superintendent, gaol Mission-
ary, and seaman's friend. Heaven reward thee, friend
and brother ! " He that soweth bountifully shall reap
One morning the venerable Bishop, good Daniel Wil-
son, sent for me to breakfast with himself and the Arch-
deacon. The dear Wylies took me in their carriage.
His expositions of the Scriptures that morning were
most clear and impressive, as if the glimpses into their
deep treasures grew brighter as he looked over the river,
and at the close we all joined with heartfelt earnestness
in " Thy kingdom come."
On going to the table he seated me beside himself,
160 BISHOP WILSON.
and after breakfast he led me through his library,
taking down volume after volume, until he gave me a
copy of each of his valuable works, with his autograph
in every one. He then showed me the pictures of all
his family, and, finally, stepped to his desk and drew a
cheque for a hundred rupees, to help me on in my con-
templated school. Kind Archdeacon Pratt followed
with another fifty, and a nice volume of his own, with
his autograph. So I returned home richly laden.
The next day I heard the Bishop preach in the
cathedral. His theme was the new birth. He was
very feeble, and obliged to lean upon the Archdeacon for
support in the pulpit. I could only think of Aaron
holding up the hands of Moses, for he seemed to be
stepping into the portals of heaven, and very soon after
he entered his Father's house of many mansions.
One of the most interesting women I saw in Calcutta
was Madam Ellerton, at that time the oldest inhabitant
in Calcutta. She had been the friend of Heber, of
Carey, of Martyn, and a long line of worthies. She drew
me down over her, clasped her withered arms around
my neck, and prayed for me till my own tears mingled
Madam Ellerton had lived with the Bishop many
years, and he very tenderly, while I was there, bade her
have no anxiety about her burial, for he had seen her
tomb prepared by the side of his own in the cathedral !
The native gentlemen who interested me particularly
were Lai Beharrie Da and Lai Beharrie Singh. I heard
Lai Beharrie Da preach in English to a large audience
HINDU GENTLEMEN. 161
in the Scotch Kirk from these words : " Let us go up
and possess the land, for we are able." I thought it
one of the best Missionary sermons I ever heard. It
was glowing with light, and faith, and zeal for his
Master. He is an ordained Missionary, and Professor
in the Dull College. He has recently married a Parsee
wife of great intelligence.
At Beharrie Singh's house I met a party of native
gentlemen, educated pundits and baboos, all of whom
declared their intention to do what they could to change
the degraded condition of their women. Beharrie Singh
gave me a copy of a History of Female Education in
India, written by himself.
During tea I expected that none but the Christians
would eat with me ; but at last Vidyasagur took up his
cup, and began to sip his tea. Then the others followed,
and although they declined cake, yet this was perhaps a
nearer approach to eating with a Christian than they
had ever made in their lives.
Mrs. Singh was Mary Sutton. She accompanied
Mrs. Sutton, of the Orissa mission, to America, and
was educated by Baptist ladies in Boston, Mass. She
is a highly intelligent person, pretty, graceful, and a
devoted helper to her husband. When I saw her she
was teaching a little school of Mussulman children, and
it was she who interested one of the donors to the school
to send me a hundred rupees. Mrs. Sutton very kindly
obtained for me a set of Hindu gods, drawn and coloured
by a Hindu painter. The cost was, I believe, a rupee a
piece. They have been very useful to me in explaining
162 THE MANNA.
Hindu idolatry ; and if Missionaries desire to send home
anything from Calcutta, these might awaken more inte-
rest than anything else found there.
The interest in the Tounghoo mission increased every
day until I left the city. The Wylies, the Moncrieffs,
the Milnes, and Mrs. Lushington were pleading the
cause of the poor and needy. Everybody I was intro-
duced to helped me in some way or other. Even my
hostess, in Sudder street, kind Mrs. Taylor, although
taking boarders to help her own children, would accept
no payment from me. Her son, too, set about teaching
my boys Latin, and would spend hours in giving them
instruction, after coming home weary from his day's
labours. Why was all this kindness shown to a stranger ?
For the Master's sake.
Time would fail me to tell of all the friends raised up
there, but when I stepped on board the steamer for
Rangoon, in March, my soul was running over with
love and wonder.
I hastened to my cabin, shut the door, and held up
before the Almighty the manna He had given us : —
For the Girl's School in Tounghoo . . . . 2,231
For the same in Books and Prints from the
Calcutta Tract Society 1 00
For the Preachers and General Purposes . . 614
For printing the Sermon on the Mount in
For personal support, by Mrs. Wylie and
Mrs. Moncrieff 300
HELP FROM RANGOON. 163
Besides the grant of land for the school, and a grant
from the Calcutta Bible Society for printing several
parts of the Bible, under Mr. Mason, in Bghai Karen ;
altogether in value more than six thousand rupees, or
three thousand dollars.
All this, too, without asking for a penny ! and given
by friends who did not stop to ask if the converts
would be of their church, or of any other, but simply
if they could be redeemed and elevated to glorify Em-
I assure you, reader, I felt as if I had just come to
the knowledge of what God could do. It seemed too
wonderful for me ; I could only praise, and lay my head
in the dust.
Nor did the great I AM leave the work here. On
reaching Rangoon, I simply sent my card to Colonel
Phayre, the Commissioner of Pegu, and a plan of the
contemplated school to our old Deputy Commissioner of
Tounghoo, who had helped me about the slave children.
Immediately there came rattling in nearly a hundred
rupees from Government officers there.
I called on Mrs. Bell, the wife of the Commander-
in-Chief in Burrnah, and they invited an interesting
circle for prayer, for both General and Mrs. Bell are
working Christians. The General himself performs
the two-fold part of preacher to his officers, and
Missionary to the heathen ; and on leaving their hos-
pitable mansion, he sent after me a roll of two hundred
If these friends, or others there, should happen to see
1 64 KIND FRIENDS.
these pages, they will forgive me, I hope, and will oblig-
ingly stand in the Missionary pillory, because I know
you do want to see them, reader — those dear, kind
friends who so generously pitied the poor Tounghoo
FORMING AN EDUCATION SOCIETY.
On reaching Tounghoo again, who should appear but
my old Tutauman. Pointing to the north, south, east,
and west, he said, —
" Teacheress, among these hills and valleys there are
ninety-six churches, ninety-six chapels, ninety-six Chris-
tian schools, and two thousand six hundred baptized
converts." The tidings were perfectly bewildering.
Men who three years before had never heard of Jesus.
In came the young preachers too, many of them my
old pupils, from every point of the compass, with their
troops of pupils, and one company bearing palm leaves —
a real oriental triumph ! Was it any wonder if I was
exhilarated ? I could not help writing back to dear
Mrs. Wylie, who had so* tenderly sympathized with us :
" I assure you I feel half the time as if out of the body.
I don't think I could ask any more joy ; for I am sure
Emmanuel is with us, and His holy, lovely likeness, in
a greater or less degree, is shining all around us."
One day I was saying to one of the young school-
masters, that it was delightful to teach the people to
read, it was so blessed to feed on God's word. " Yes,"
he answered immediately, " ' Blessed are they who do
hunger and thirst after righteousness : for they shall be
filled.' I read that in the holy book of Matthew."
These converts had already raised seven hundred
rupees for books, eight hundred for medicines, besides
building nearly a hundred chapels themselves alone, sup-
porting nearly a hundred preachers and schoolmasters ;
and in the last year they had raised several hundred
rupees for a young men's school. How could I, then,
expect them to enter upon the new undertaking of sup-
porting schools for girls ? Quala, too, on whom I had
most relied to further the plan, only said, " As for the
food, the Christians can do it." He had heard that the
Christians in America looked upon the design with
doubt. He supposed it was because men did not ap-
prove in America of women teachers. So he would be
very wise ; he would take no ground at all. He would
neither oppose nor help.
Looking over the towering mountains of the land, the
scattered hamlets of the people, their drained purses,
and many dialects, all new to me, and then this bitter
disappointment in one on whom I had counted on as a
pillar of strength — shall I confess my weakness ? Fear,
an indescribable, painful sense of fear, came over me,
and, for a time, overpowered every other emotion. I
could see no help for all those thousands of Tounghoo
women, even after having just witnessed the power of
the Almighty arm. I retired at night only to tosa
from side to side ; I arose in the morning only to fear
ANXIOUS QUERIES. 167
But the Lord gave strength, and it was not long that
faith stood so faltering. For a Christian to doubt and
fear when his Captain gives the word, " Forward ! " is
like a soldier stopping under marching orders to inquire
about the commissariat supplies. I determined to obey,
and leave results to the Master. Peace and joy inde-
scribable followed this determination ; and, presently, one
of the highest chiefs sent in three young women, very
pretty and clever, but not a rupee nor a kernel of rice
with them, nor a word about any support. Then arose
another trial of faith. If I sent them back, no more
would come down ; if I took them and fed them myself,
it would be a ruinous precedent. I called the girls,
told them every particular, threw the burden of respon-
sibility upon them, explained to them how momentous
was the future, how much depended on their stay with
us, and then proposed a night of fasting and prayer.
We spent it mostly together, pleading with heaven, and
before morning those three young women were quite as
deeply embued with the spirit of the undertaking as I
Next evening a chief came in bringing eleven rupees
for the young men's school.
"Go and give it to mama for the girls/' said Mr.
" The girls ! " he replied, with a side look of disdain.
" Yes, for the girls. They have nothing to eat. They
need food as well as the boys."
Very reluctantly the chief came and handed me the
168 NOBLE QUALAY.
" Stop, Nah Khan," I said, taking a low stool beside
him. " Look at this/' spreading out the ground plan of
my contemplated building, and explaining to him the
whole undertaking. I also told him that I was obliged
to give up my own support to do this.
" And how is mama to get her curry and rice?" he
" Ah ! Qualay, God's ravens are still in the world,''
I answered ; when he smiled understandingly, and turn-
ing to his followers, in an undertone he said, —
" Think we must send mama the great pig !"
Sure enough, a few days afterwards down came the
great pig — such a size — laced up in bamboos, borne by
seven men, squealing so as to startle the officers all the
way through the cantonments. On they came, and laid
it an offering at my door, an offering of highland sym-
pathy ! The same day my servant went with them to
market and sold the squealer for twenty-two rupees.
With this, and the eleven rupees, I was enabled to
support the girls a whole term.
Seeing I was really in earnest, and had even sold the
pig to help, the Nah Khan and his men began also to
feel an inspiration about the work. From this time he
encouraged and cheered us on. Caleb-like, he said : —
" Let the teacheress have no fear. We are able, and we
will do all she requires."
Thus God in mercy gave strength and comfort. The
story soon spread, and deputations began to pour in
desiring to see the taguau or plan which I had marked
out for the institute. With each company I spent hours
DIFFEKENT OPINIONS. 169
in explaining the plan, and the advantage of having the
women taught so as to keep the schools, and leave the
young men free to go beyond, preaching the Gospel.
Some opposed strongly, and I would leave them in a
high dispute with one another about the shame of having
•women teachers, and the impropriety of allowing their
daughters to learn more than their parents knew. They
would become lazy, they would beat out paddy no more,
it was argued. They would become proud, and would
no longer obey their husbands. Others, however, saw
the advantages, and particularly the advantages of hav-
ing a piece of land of their own, and a large handsome
house of their own. The liberal party finally prevailed,
and all returned to bring in their pledges and contribu-
tions. Each embassy now brought a letter pledging his
chief and people to carry on the school, and support it ;
accompanying the letter with their money, varying from
one rupee to thirty rupees.
Next came the search after a building spot. The
Deputy Commissioner proposed a ride on horseback ; so
one morning before breakfast away I went with our
mutual friend, the Rev. Mr. Whittaker. The Commis-
sioner was mounted on a cream-coloured pony, with black
mane, cut close, and a sweeping black tail. The pretty
creature had a fine arching neck, and seemed to know
exactly who she carried, for she stepped off as proudly
as Bucephalus. My pony, which Mrs. Whittaker had
kindly lent me, was also a Shan, but much smaller. I
had not been on horseback for twelve years, so that this
was an adventure. The Commissioner led the way, and
170 RIDING UP THE STEPS.
on we went over all sorts of places, down the river, over
the plains, and at last he came up to a very steep ridge
of table land, which he thought would make a splendid
site for a school. On the top was a pagoda with a long
graduated ascent of paved steps from the base to the
summit. Captain D'Oyly rode on, as if there were
nothing to impede us, right up the brick steps.
"Shall I come?" I asked timidly, yet with no
thought in the world but that of implicit obedience.
" Yes, Mrs. Mason, come up," he answered quietly,
turning his head with a grave, careless air. So on I
went, up, up, up, till I verily thought the pony must
lose his balance and I tumble backwards over his head.
As soon as we reached the summit, he turned to me with
a half-concealed triumphant expression, —
" You 're a capital rider, Mrs. Mason, and you are
quite tractable !"
Then I saw the mischief in his eye, and understood he
had led me straight up the pagoda just for sport. We
had a much harder time getting down, and it was not
without some peril.
When I asked the Captain what he played such a ruse
for, he answered with his judicial smile, —
" Oh ! I saw you could lead Karens. I wanted to see
if you could follow !"
It was all in vain, however, our scaling the Myugyee
pagoda. Not a foot of land could we find available, for
the military lines lay far and near, stretching in every
direction. Once we saw a magnificent old mango near
the river, and galloped off, thinking then we had surely
SCOURING THE COUNTRY. 171
got beyond their limits ; but lo, to our great vexation,
there were twenty or thirty sappers slashing down the
reeds and grasses to build an hospital ! Then we turned
and galloped as far the other way to a clump of palms
standing all alone as much as two miles from the can-
tonments ; but there they were, the forever-present bush-
men, putting up a stable. So, after searching in vain
till ten o'clock, we gave up and went home.
The next day I started again with Karens, and for
five days we scoured the country in every direction, and
found nothing. I was resolved to get on to the river, so
that the Karens could have the advantages of a river
frontage for their boats, bamboos, and produce, as well as
water free for themselves and their cattle, besides pro-
tection against fires, and a clear way downward, should
they be obliged to flee from the Burmese.
Finally, the Nah Khans, the two chief Karens who
had been appointed magistrates, suggested that we
should go into the jungle on the east side of the Sit-
tang river, opposite to the old fort, on a spot where
they said all the Karen paths met. It was a wild
jungle, but a particularly convenient place for all the
" Very well," the Deputy Commissioner replied, " 1
will go over with you, and we will mark off as much as
Recollecting the pagoda jaunt, I engaged "him in an
interesting conversation till he quite forgot the land and
walk. He suddenly recollected his promise, and stopping
short, said, —
172 CLEARING THE JUNGLE.
" Do you want a state here, Mrs. Mason ? How far
are you going V
" Only to that old tree ; that will make a fine boun-
dary," I answered, pressing on to an ancient banyan that
was waving fifty feet over the river.
He looked back in utter amazement at the distance
we had gone over, and said something about having it
measured. I sus;o;ested that he might let us cut down
the jungle first, and then it could be -seen how much
space there really was.
" Well, call your people, and go to work quickly, but
I can't promise you will get all that.
Immediately about fifty came down to clear the land,
but applied to me for food. I counted up all they had
brought in for the school, and the whole amounted to
one hundred rupees. I pointed to my twenty-four pupils,
and assured them it would be impossible for me to feed
them also. But I handed them twenty-five rupees,
telling them they had better appoint two of their number
to buy and cook for the whole. The work would then
go on much more rapidly.
Two days passed, when they came again, saying the
money was all gone. At first I felt disposed to rebuke
them, but turned to my closet for an hour, giving
the time to prayer and to my dear little help-book,
" Remedies against Satan's Devices." In that time
God taught me what to do, and strength was given for
the day. Having first obtained permission of Mr.
Mason, I went out.
" Chiefs, can you build me a house ?" I asked.
NATIVE MANAGERS. 173
" Oh ! yes ; if mama would live in a Karen house."
" How long would it take ?"
" We could put one up to-morrow."
" Very well. You go and put me up a house, and I
will take the girls all over the river. Then I will buy
food in the bazaar, and the girls will do the cooking if
you think all would like this ? "
" Never could eyes open so wide. They seemed
relieved of a tremendous burden, and, springing to their
feet, they gave orders to their men, right and left, while
I handed them ten rupees more to sustain them while
building my house. The next evening I bade adieu to
home and all home comforts. They had cleared two
spots about forty feet square, and the school-house or
shanty they had built me was only twenty feet square,
set up two feet above the damp ground, enclosed by
reeds and covered with grasses. To this we removed
the next evening with our books and twenty-four girls ;
and here was taught the first girls' school in Tounghoo.
At evening we assembled for prayers, and I addressed
them kindly, praising them for the efforts they had made,
and encouraging them to hope for success if they would
let the girls cook for them all. To this several strongly
objected, alleging that Bghai food and Paku food were
not the same, and their manner of cooking not the same.
I then engaged that Bghai girls should cook for Bghais,
and Paku girls for Pakus, upon which all sung the
doxology most heartily, and every heart beat as strong as
The next day, on the 4th of August, 1857, the chiefs
174 KAREN EDUCATION SOCIETY.
having arrived, we held a convocation in the little bam-
boo chapel which they had erected under four ancient
mango trees some eighty feet high, and organized the
Karen Education Society. Forty chiefs were pre-
sent, and twenty were represented by letter. The ses-
sion continued until the 7th. They chose a Board of
Managers, consisting of one Paku, one Mauniepaga, one
Mopaga, one Bghai, one Pant -Bghai, and one English,
besides Captain D'Oyly, who kindly consented to act as
One of the first resolutions of the society was to sup-
port and carry on themselves the National Female
Institute, as they expressed it, " down to remotest
generations." The Nah Kahn Qualay stirred up the
people to bring in their pledges, and my Tutuaman,
Shapau, set off through the Bghai hills for three
months, explaining the plan to all the Bghai villages,
and soon pledge letters came in from every quarter.
A few of these letters I will give, for I do really think
they are curious and interesting documents, considering
they are entirely the composition of these wild Karens.
These are specimens of more than two hundred letters
now beside me, which have been voluntarily sent in by
native churches. The first letter was
From Pwapau, the Teacher of Klurlah.
" Dear Teacheress of Tounghoo,
" Grace, mercy, and peace be with thee for ever !
There are some young women here who do desire to study
PLEDGE LETTERS. 175
with mama. We send two of them, who pledge them-
selves to study hard and become teachers, and the people
promise to support them. We send now four rupees
" Pwapau the Teacher of Klurlah."
The same clan : —
" From the Chiefs of Hoomuduc.
" We are greatly pleased, and we send four girls im-
mediately to study. These we have examined, and they
engage to teach school, and do everything they can to
build up Christ's kingdom. We send them quick that
they may not be behind the others."
From the Mopaga Tribe : —
" Teacher and Teacheress,
" The plan devised for us we all like much. We will
give up our children to study in the great zayat about
to be erected, and will furnish them food. All agree
perfectly to the Committee of Seven, and we now hope
to become acquainted with books. We write this letter
that the teachers may know that we agree with glad
" The doings of the teachers afford us great pleasure.
" May peace and happiness rest on our helpers !
" Written for the Church of Panapoo."
From the Pant-Bghai Tribe : —
" That which thou hast devised, erecting a building
for us, hits the minds of all, both men and women. We
agree with great glad hearts, and will send our children
and grand-children to study, and we will also furnish
" We will righteously perform the things to which we
here agree, hoth men and women pledging their words ;
and in order that mama may know our designs, we
have written this letter."
GETTING A TITLE DEED.
" You will surely die there, Mrs. Mason." This was
our civil surgeon's belief, and the fear of all our friends ;
for every one knows how unhealthy it is to live in the
midst of new clearings day and night, and especially in
a hot climate, where vegetation decomposes so rapidly.
" But, doctor, how do your officers do when bringing
your men before an enemy ? "
" Oh ! we go first, of course/' he answered, laughing.
" When you know you may get shot first ? "
" Then you see why my husband lets me go and live
in the clearings."
There is nothing so important, when labouring to
raise up a heathen people, as to let them see that you
believe yourself what you teach them. If you would
have them trust, you must trust yourself. If you would
have them enter into the spirit of that diamond precept,
" Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,"
you must make that kingdom first in the little unnotice-
able actions' of every-day • life, not unnoticed by the
heathen. Little things are what they judge by alto-
gether, like little children, and like God too. The
minute hand is their guide, not the hour hand. There-
178 SATURDAY WORK.
fore my dear husband was happy in this arrangement,
although, from July, 1857, to July, 1858, I could only
have Saturdays for home duties.
Saturday morning two of the school girls would go
over, and while taking lessons in sweeping, cleaning,
and tasteful arrangement, would put everything "to
rights " in Mr. Mason's qtiarters. In the morning the
dhoby always came with the week's washing, and took
away for the next week, by which plan everything was
changed on Saturday, and all ready for quiet on the
Sabbath.* Then the cook's market bill for the week
was to be settled, and directions given for the next
week, and this had to be done for my husband's table,
for my own, for the girls' school, for the young men's
school, and for the two Karen hospitals ; measuring out,
every Saturday, the tea, the coffee, the sugar, the salt,
the flour, the curry-powder, the rice, and even the lamp-
oil, for every day through the week. By noon the
domestic business was completed, and the remainder of
the day was a real treat to us both. Then out came
my dear husband's letters and scientific papers, with my
" woman's plans " to be sifted and turned over by the
wisdom and genial heart of one of the most indulgent of
husbands, and so these hours were exclusively devoted
to each other.
We were greatly favoured in having good servants.
Appoo takes care of all my husband's wants, while our
* Everybody knows, I suppose, that in hot climates linen has to
be changed every day ; so that it is always necessary to have one or
two dozen changes on hand at once.
BABOO HOOSIM. 179
friend, the mussulman, keeps all the wardrobes in order.
I have heard of legislators decreeing it the duty of
woman to "smile on her husband and darn his stock-
ings ! " Shades of Menu and Fo ! Smile, of course, we
will on our husbands ; but as for the darning — all non-
sense ! old Baboo Hoosim can do it a thousand times
better than I can. He is our family tailor. Every
Saturday morning, at six o'clock, this tall, white-
gowned spectre appears in his Cashmire turban and
flowing white beard on our verandah. Then out come
the drawers, when everything and anything that wants
repairing is handed over to him. He will find buttons,
and sew them on to all the wristbands, make up shirts
or dresses, trousers or mantles, no matter which ; fit up
your bed-room with sheets, pillow-slips, towels, all and
everything, for less money than it would cost you to
furnish materials ; because a foreigner always has to
pay a third more for everything than a native. So I
let the servants darn, and I superintend. This latter
must never be left to them, as they soon rattle through
the purse, if you do.
Then little Appoo ; he's such a capital fellow ! Just
like his master — I mean, he is just as punctilious about
the hours.* His curry is always right, with the whitest
* I have one of the most stereotyped husbands that ever lived.
Up every morning over his tea and toast at six o'clock, then comes
a short walk, then at his translations till prayer time, breakfast at
nine, study till eleven, lie down till twelve, at work again till two,
then a short nap, a bath, dinner, another walk, rest an hour, tea at
eight, translate till eleven. Week after week always the same,
except when broken up by jungle travelling.
rice, everything smoking hot, and just at the hour.
At three o'clock precisely, in comes the hot water for
master's bath. At seven o'clock precisely comes his
unchangeable dinner of curry and rice, or beef steak,
fried plantains, and sweet potatoes, with now and then
the daintiest little custard " for master," or a nice cup
of arrowroot pudding.
With my Yankee notions of housewifery, I for some
time endeavoifred to tempt my husband to other dishes,
which I prepared with great care myself ; but, although
he would politely taste them and pronounce them excel-
lent, yet I saw he spent no thought on them, and only
tasted from mere politeness. So I gave up the cook-
house, much to his satisfaction, and devoted my time to
the people. The second year I was able to leave the
Karens also on Wednesday nights, and take our boys to
join my husband, which afforded us much cause for
thankfulness, as the separations of the first year had
been to us both long and painful.
Not a little cankering care and anxiety I had in
many ways, concerning the land matters and the
The Karens at this time were erecting twelve guard-
houses for twelve of the largest villages, in a parallelo-
gram encircling the Institute, and cultivating ground
around them. They proposed to make a public road
around all, and, perhaps, to take up the jungle beyond
and build a small Karen settlement, if the taxes should
be satisfactorily arranged, which the Deputy Commis-
sioner nes-ociated for them.
CAPTAIN D'OYLY'S LETTER. 181
The Acting Commissioner, Captain Hopkinson, stated
that he could not, without seeing or visiting the spot
himself, or much further information, sanction the grant
Upon which, Captain D'Oyly wrote the following-
comforting little note to me : —
" My dear Mrs. Mason,
" Do not be downcast. We must have a talk about
this, and I hope we may be able to get the Commissioner
to change his mind.
"It would never do to let the labour and enthusiasm
of the Karens be thrown away. No, indeed ! Be as
bold in your present difficulties as you were when you
rode up the steps of the Myugyee pagoda, and all will
come right. Write yourself, and represent your own
case, and I will forward it."
The following letter was therefore forwarded : —
" To Captain H. Hopkinson, Commissioner of Pegu.
" I take the liberty of writing to you, as Captain
D'Oyly requests me to do so, concerning the land for
which I have applied on account of the Karen Female
" I would first beg permission to say a word in behalf
of these mountain tribes of Tounghoo."
* Colonel Phayre, the Chief Commissioner of Pegu, was then in
Italy for his health, and Capt. Hopkinson, Commissioner of Tenas-
serim, was in charge.
182 LETTEK TO CAPTAIN HOPKINSON.
Here followed a brief account of the Karens, and their
r eadiness to receive Christian books.
" From the lowest drunkenness thousands have risen
up to sobriety, diligence, and worth. From the lowest
ignorance they have become able mathematicians, prin-
ters, and teachers. Some of the most eloquent orators I
ever heard speak were Karens, and they have been
educated almost entirely in their own vernacular tongue.
In Touno-hoo the work of conversion and education has
been most remarkable."
After mentioning the young men's advancement and
Quala's devotion, the letter continued : —
" But for the education of the Karen women, very
little has been done in Tounghoo, and for the Burmese
women nothing at all.
" For many years it has been my earnest desire to
estal lish a school for girls which should embrace all the
tribes, bring out and concentrate their energies and
philanthropic feelings in the one great object of educa-
tion, and be to the Christian clans among the natives
what Delphi was to the tribes of Greece. God has
in the most wonderful manner opened the way for a
" You know the grant so graciously given me by
Government. It is true I asked only for a ' small piece
of land,' but then there was to be a 'well and fruit-
trees,' which implies a cultivated piece of ground, and
this was what Government expected me to have. But
the military and civil lines occupy almost every desirable
spot in Tounghoo. I have, therefore, taken an un-
broken jungle. The labour of subduing this jungle and
keeping the land clear will be very great. Of course,
we would not desire to have such a piece of land unless
compensation could be made in some way for cultivated
ground, ' the well and fruit-trees/ It takes a long time
for fruit-trees to grow, and they are invaluable for a
school. Therefore it is that I ask for a larger piece
" For a public institution for a hundred girls we re-
quire ground sufficient for the school-house, a house for
the steward, the teacher, a play-ground, a garden, a
grazing-piece, dormitories, out-offices, guard-house, and
a spot for a chapel. I would, therefore, earnestly beg
you will make us the following grants : —
" 1st. — The whole piece of land, measuring thirty-two
and a-half acres.
" 2nd. — Permission to erect twelve guard-houses on
the outskirts of this piece for the protection of the school,
free of rent, the occupants paying their annual capita-
tion taxes in the districts to which they respectively
« 3rd. — Permission for the Karens, who may take up
land beyond the school for cultivation, to pay their capi-
tation taxes in the districts where they belong, for the
three years which Government allows to bring the land
4th. — Five hundred rupees towards making the new
road required round our land. This is asked because the
road being a public one for all the villages, it seems
hard that we should do the work alone.
" I am, Sir, your humble servant,
" Ellen B. Mason."
The letter was forwarded by Captain D'Oyly, and
Captain Hopkinson replied in the most gentlemanly
terms, granting, finally, the whole piece of land, per-
mission for the guard-houses free of rent, permission to
make the road around the boundary ; but he said, —
" Mrs. Mason need not make one any better than the
native road that she found on the place." He also
granted all I asked in regard to taxes, and, moreover,
he would give the Karens permission to take up just
as much land as they could cultivate, free of taxes for
On the reception of this, the Karens gave ringing
cheers for D'Oyly and Hopkinson !
The next Sunday was appointed as a day of thanks-
giving throughout the jungles, and many warm heart -
prayers ascended on that day from the glens and
pinnacles for the rulers who had thus helped us.
Changes, however, prevented the deed from being
made out until the return of Col. Phayre, when I again
laid the subject before him. The following is an extract
from his very kind reply : —
On the Irrawaddy, April 12th, 1858.
" My dear Mrs. Mason,
" / fully appreciate the benefit which will result
from your determination to educate the Karens as
Christian men, and to make them good agriculturalists.
" I look forward with great pleasure, in my next visit
to Tounghoo, to seeing your Karen Female School, and
witnessing the assembly of the whole of your Karens
at evening worship. I feel that a great work is going
on, and that it is the duty of all to further it to the
utmost of their ability.
"May I ask you to send me a brief sketch of the
Karen Female School after the close of the present
term, — the number of scholars, what they are taught,
their age, the tribes they belong to, and all particulars
which you think would be interesting. The Government
will, I am sure, be glad to learn all particulars. When
you have scholars of different tribes, do you teach each
in their own dialect ?
" Believe me, very sincerely yours,
"A. P. Phaybe."
My answer was accordingly : —
" The girls are all instructed in two dialects — the
Paku and Bghai. They are making most satisfactory
progress in the study of Christianity, geography, history,
arithmetic, elementary astronomy, letter-writing, the
laws of health, housekeeping, nursing the sick, and
teaching ; and are being carefully trained in habits of
order, punctuality, and cleanliness."
It was soon after this that our Deputy Commissioner
was promoted, and a new ruler arrived in Tounghoo.
Directions were immediately given by the Commissioner
186 THE TITLE DEED.
for the title deed to be made out, but that deputy a few
months after left the commission entirely. Then busi-
ness fell into the hands of a subordinate officer, and so
the saddest delays occurred after the order for the deed
had been issued, causing me and the Karens the most
intense anxiety for two years, and by circumstances over
which the Commissioner had no control. This delay was
caused mostly by bad men, who retarded the advance-
ment of female education in the land.
Finally, Colonel Phayre gave with his own hand the
Title Deed, as follows : —
TITLE DEED FOR KAREN SCHOOL LAND
" Under the authority and sanction conveyed
from the Governor-General op India, in Council, in
letter No. 1,204, dated 16th March, 1857, from the
Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign
Department, to the address of the Commissioner of
Pegu, the said Commissioner doth hereby, as a special
case, in order that sound education and civilization
may be imparted and extended among the karen
nation, grant unto the karen education society of
the district of tounghoo all that parcel of land
situated on the east bank of the river slttang, near
the city of tounghoo, now in the occupation of the
said Education Society, and containing about thirty-
two (32) ACRES, MORE OR LESS ; AND THE SAID LAND SHALL
be held in trust by mrs. ellen b. mason for the
said Education Society, until her decease, when it
THE TITLE DEED. 187
may be taken in charge by the karen board op
Managers of the said Society, in connexion with any
one person whom the said mbs. ellen b. mason may
have appointed to co-operate with the said society
or Board of Managers, as their Trustee and Agent.
And this grant shall continue and have effect as
long as the land granted, and the building or build-
ings thereon, shall be used for and devoted to the
objects on account of which the grant is made ;
namely, for the establishment of female schools and
other institutions, whereby a sound education may
be imparted to the karen nation in the district
of tounghoo, and the blessings of civilization be
extended to them.
" In witness whereof, I HAVE hereunto set my hand
AND SEAL, AT BASSEIN, ON THE NINTH (9th) DAY OF JULY,
"A. P. PHAYRE, Commissioner of Pegu."
TODNGHOO, 29th July, 1859/'
I replied, "Oh how glad are we of this Title Deed !
Every Christian Karen on these mountains will thank
our Government for it every day as long as they live/'
The position was a central one, and approved as of easy
access to the great mass of the Karen population.
I think it had cost me to obtain it as many &s fifty
letters. Two years, too, of asking and waiting before
the Throne. But God did not forget to be gracious.
" Happy is he who hath the God of Jacob for
THE KAREN CANAAN.
" Teachers, I wonder if I love God with all my
strength. I am thinking if I can do this."
These words were uttered by a very wild chief of the
Pant-Bghai tribe. He, with others, felt it a most
formidable undertaking, the clearing thirty acres of
land, exceedingly formidable for wild Karens. The
Nah Khans divided out the whole ground into four wards,
giving one to each of the principal clans, so that every
one, on going through the jungle, would see "Paku ward,"
" Mopaga ward," " Bghai ward," and " Mauniepaga
ward " posted upon the stakes all along the whole tract.
It is August, and the rains are pouring heavily, but
the news spreads like a fire in the jungle. " The
Karens have got a Canaan. God has given us a Holy
Land ! " and mountain echoes to mountain, " Come to
the work ! " and come they do in troops of five, ten,
fifteen, twenty, until two or three hundred cover the
jungle. Drenched with rain, down they pour, over crags
and snags, through bogs and swollen rivers up to their
necks, and not a rag of clothing to change, so poor
" Dahs, dalis, mama ! Give us dalis ! " (long stout
knives) ; for a fourth part of the Bghais bring nothing
to work with, so I must buy for them spades and hoes,
to the amount of nearly a hundred rupees out of the
general fund which the whole supply. These, too, require
care, and the men are constantly going and coming, so
two of the girls are appointed stewardesses of the tools
to give out and receive back, taking the leaders' names
in each company. Four others are entrusted with the
marketing ; but the rations I give out daily myself to
all the companies, so that there shall be no injustice ;
besides, I find it much more economical. The girls cook
for them with perfect cheerfulness, and all work indeed
as Nehemiah's men did building up the wall.
You should have seen the heaps of presents coming
to me. On one side, rolls of mats, ten feet high ; on
another, long bamboo joints of honey ; on another piles
of baskets, and a whole yard full of hens and chickens
before the door. You know this is custom a L 'Orient.
On first visiting any superior, they lay before him some
token of friendship, or rather of homage.
We let them bring as much as they like, but never
take for ourselves a single anna's worth, neither Mr.
Mason, nor I, nor our children. We say to them, " It
is well, but we will set it all to the school account,"
and every mat, basket, egg, and fowl, every pound of
beeswax or bamboo of honey which we use for ourselves,
I pay for at the full market price, and put it into the
school funds. This has always been Mr. Mason's
custom and my own, and I believe it is far more
190 THORN BUSHES.
pleasing to God than it would be to take presents from
such poor converts. Both Mr. Mason and Quala, at
the close of 1856, reported : " Among the Bghais, things
are going back," — but this new school plan, which
brought the tribes to work altogether, seemed to have a
mesmeric effect. It made the clans acquainted with
each other, drew forth their sympathies, much increased
their mutual love, and their interest in one another's
welfare ; our Bible studies also greatly aided these
It is morning. The girls are at their rice pots. I
go to look over the work, advising with the chiefs, and
encouraging their men, as I always find that if I have
visited any spot in the morning, the men will accom-
plish double the work there during the day.
But they are still weak — very weak. One morning I
find them clearing around the thorn bushes, but have no
intention of going into such perilous-looking clumps.
A straggling thorn bush runs through the whole tract,
which increases very rapidly, and grows into trees all
woven and interwoven so as to be quite impenetrable.
These the chiefs declare must remain, for not a man will
venture into those awful meshes. My two daring boys
snatch the dahs from the chiefs' hands, dash in, Saxon-
like, slashing right and left, and soon one large clump
is laid low. At twilight the torch is applied, and
" Away goes one mountain," they shout.
The roots spread far and wide, and in that land will
be up again in a week ; so again our boys rush into the
work there in the moonlight, and rafts of thorns float
A LIVING SACRIFICE. 191
down the river. After this, whenever they came to a
thicket of thorns, the chiefs would cry out, "Remember
the little teachers," when the young men and boys
would attack them with a vengeance; but, of course,
with bare feet, it was very unenviable work.
The middle of the day I devote to my school, leaving
the men to do as they choose ; some working, others
sleeping, but in the evening comes our Bible-reading.
This is deeply interesting. Imagine as follows : —
" I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of
God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,"
reads the assistant in Paku.
" I beseech you, therefore, brethren," &c, respond the
" I beseech you, therefore, brethren," &c, reads the
assistant in Bghai.
"1 beseech you, therefore, brethren," &c, respond
the congregation in Bghai.
" What is it the Apostle wants the heathen converts
to do ? You may all answer ; chiefs, women, young
men, young women, tell what you think. What is a
living sacrifice ? How can we make a sacrifice every
day, and keep about our work ? " Then,
" What about these mercies of God ? " &c.
This is something new, and every eye begins to dilate,
showing all are in deep and intense thought, till finally
the principal chief gives utterance to his views ; then
another follows, and another, expounding and reasoning,
until the room presents a most animated scene of discus-
sion, and all about the Bible. The young women, too,
are encouraged to express their thoughts, but this arouses
the young preachers.
" Mama, does not the Apostle Paul Bay, ' I suffer
not a woman to teach?' yet you call on the young
women here in the presence of the men ?"
"Ay, ay, Master Shemoon, but this is our Bible
lesson. It belongs to the girls' school; and as I. too, am
a woman, I fear yon will all have to Btay away, 01 let
the jrirls talk." They chose the latter alternative, and
these happy Bible readings were never to be forgotten
by either party. The questions osnally led to earnest
exhortations, which alw 1 by a hearty applica-
tion of the text to the business in hand.
Again turning from the assistants to the chiefs, I try
to have them feel that, as they are all heads of families
and heads of villages, it is eminently desirable that they
should understand the Scriptures, so as to instruct their
people, and hold up the hands of their teachers, point-
ing them to Abraham. The question is then put :
"What shall be our subject to-night '. "
"Faithfulness," it may be, cries a ?oice below the
platform, and so we take Faithfulness.
" Well, who does God command to be faithful ? Does
He say anything about it to teachers ? Look at 1 Tim.
" The Apostle thanks the Lord that He counted him
faithful," some one answers.
" See Eph. vi. 21."
" He says Tychicus was faithful," calls out timidly a
boy from the corner.
PRACTICAL FRUITS. 193
" Is anything said to chiefs ? Look at Gal. iii. 9."
" Abraham is called faithful."
" Anything to the Board of Managers ? 1 Cor. iv. 2."
" It is required in stewards that a man be found
"Anything to wives ? 1 Tim. iii. 11."
" Wives are commanded to be faithful in all things."
" Anything to children ? Titus i. 6."
" Parents are blessed when they have faithful children,
" Anything to servants ? Matt. xxv. 21."
" Servants are said to have ' well done ' when faith-
"What does a faithful servant do? Let each one
" A dozen voices respond one by one, all telling some
simple thing pertaining to their every-day life.
" What does Christ call those who do whatsoever He
commands them ? "
" His servants."
" Where does He say they shall be ? John xii. 26."
" Where He is."
" I saw a Daupuica, or brother," says one of the
Board of Managers ; " he said he had come down to
work three days. He worked till noon to-day ; then he
and all his men left for home, so as to reach there
to-niffht. Now, was he faithful ? "
" No, no, no," utter a dozen voices of young men and
u I heard another say to-night he had worked two
194 PRACTICAL FRUITS.
days, when to-day at noon he went to the bazaar,
and loitered all the rest of the day. Was he faith-
" No, no."
" Tell some other way of being wwfaithful."
" I know," says a young man. " San Yaubu told
me, if I didn't dig up the roots of the grass and stumps
around the chapel, I should uot be faithful."
"And I know," says one of the girls, "if I get tired,
and don't teach my class well when mama is out, I'm
And so every one hunts up an answer, and sometimes
mingles it with simple confession, showing the power of
the sword of the Spirit.
" What is it a faithful witness will not do, airls ?
Look and see. Prov. xiv. 5."
" Will not lie," answer the girls in low, sweet voices."
" Who was so faithful that none occasion nor fault
could be found in him ? Look at Dan. vi. 4."
" Daniel," shout the boys.
Then the heart-searchings would be stayed, and all
asked if any one could tell what was promised to him
who was faithful in a few things ; and then came again
their brief, striking applications.
" What will Christ give to the faithful unto death ?
Rev. ii. 10."
" A crown of life.
But our five favourite topics were, first, " Thy kingdom
come," in the Lord's prayer ; the armour, in Eph. vi. ;
the work of tribulation, Rom. v. ; the fruits of the
LOVING WITH OUR STRENGTH. 195
Spirit, Gal. v. ; and the great command, " loving our
neighbour as ourselves."
One evening the subject was the first commandment.
" First commandment, ' Thou Shalt have no other
gods before me/ " calls out the assistant on my right,
" Thou shalt have no other gods before me," respond
the whole assembly. So he goes through.
" First commandment, ' Thou shalt have no other
gods before me/ " takes up the assistant on my left, in
the Bghai dialect.
The congregation respond, and so we go through
11 How can you love the Lord with your strength f "
it was asked. For some time none could answer.
Presently, chief Pwame rose and said,
" I think I understand."
" Well, what is it, chief ? " and every eye was fixed
on the speaker.
" What is it ? " he replies, towering to his full height.
"Why, brethren, if we come here and help mama to
build up this school for teachers, and clear this land
for a holy place, we are loving Jesus Christ with our
strength — that's the way, I think."
" Er, er," shouts out chief Poquai with a dozen other
voices. And so it goes on, the interest increasing every
moment, till ten o'clock, and then no one wants to stop
— nor I either.
They always went home talking over the subjects, and
they would continue talking them over at midnight, in
19G SPIRIT FOOD.
the morning, in the roads, and in the fields. If any
point of difficulty arose and it was referred to me, I
never answered them except by quoting other Scripture,
or asking questions whkh should lead them to see the
truth, so that when it was reached, all felt that they had
got at it themselves. This encouraged them to try, and
to drink in with delight the waters that could quench all
"Sanctify tiiem thbotjgh thy truth ; thy Word
is truth." This has been ringing in my ears erer since
we began this work. It afforded them the greatest
pleasure to know that they were to be made holy by the
study of God's word. Then they thonght that God had
given His word as the food for their souls, even as they
prepared curry and rice for the body, and they knew if
they did not eat their evening meal, they could not
possibly dig up roots the next day.
" No," they would exclaim, " and so if we don't feed
on God's word every day, we shall never get up the
thorns and stumps of sin from our hearts."
The young preachers and schoolmasters were usually
about us two or three together, and they always returned
with brighter eyes, stronger nerves, and higher aspira-
tions to their work in the hills. This I regarded as one
of the greatest blessings that attended on the place —
the sparkles of truth and blendings of love would be
borne back to the pinnacles of the mountains, and have
more or less effect upon hearts, as the teachers were
led to personal watchfulness.
I might have talked to these wild men and women
STUDYING THE WORD. 197
till doomsday, and they would never have made the
sacrifices they have made, but for the deep practical
truths of the Bible. They loved dearly to have " Cru-
den's Concordance" talk to them, and would often ask
me to take the Holy Figure Book, as they called it,
which I always kept on the desk with the Bible.
Subsequently, after a year's teaching, I would ask the
chiefs to name a subject for investigation, which they
could readily do, — perhaps faith, perhaps love, mercy,
or works, visiting the widow and the fatherless, using
just weights ; indeed, almost every kind of practical
subject was taken up in our Bible readings. It was
not merely Old Testament stories that we studied, or the
miracles or revelations, but Corinthians, Romans, Gala-
tians, Philippians, James, and John. The history of
God's dealings with the Israelites was always made pro-
minent, because this seemed to me eminently adapted to
lead them to fear God and to trust Him, having always
strengthened my own faith. Our favourite parts of the
Bible were Exodus, Luke, John, Romans, and Corin-
The above are specimens of our manner of studying
the word of God every week-day night, men, women,
and children, for the last three years, until it seemed as
if those who dwelt about the school-grounds grew so
fast, we could almost see them grow in a " knowledge of
the truth." This was the greatest consolation to us all
when we saw them dropping away by cholera. Twenty-
five of my Bible class, who had so delighted in studying
about the " Light of the World," ascended up in two
198 THE BOYS AND THE BASKETS.
months' time to bask in that light for ever, and not one
murmur, not a single expression of fear, as far as I could
learn, escaped the lips of either.
"Are you afraid?" I asked them repeatedly, as I
stood beside them and held the hands of those dying
" No, mama. We know Christ will take us."
What but the Inspired Oracles could have given such
men such faith to die by? such a light through the
shadows, such a life-belt for those deep waters ?
It was one evening after we had been dwelling on the
first and great commandment, that the wild Bghai met
me on the steps with the striking remark mentioned at
the opening of this chapter : —
" Teacher, I wonder if I can love the Lord with all
He wished me to supply his men with rice, and ten
men would remain a week and work on the Girls' Place,
they buying their own curry. I Avas obliged to refuse.
Just then a little boy standing behind pulled his
tunic, and whispered something low.
" I'll go and talk with my men," he said, hastily.
Half an hour passes. Back comes the chieftain, his
little son beside him.
" We've talked it over," he said, " and Poquer says
he and the boys will make some baskets and sell for
A week or ten days go by, and looking up the road, a
troop of Karens appeared, coming down in Indian file
with eight or ten boys, each one's head piled with bas-
THE BOTS AND THE BASKETS. 199
kets towering up like little mountains, eight or ten on
each head. Without stopping, they forded the river,
waist deep, went to the bazaar, sold their baskets, bought
their own rice and curry, and came and worked a week
in clearing off the land. This is a single example of the
practical manner in which these willing hearers applied
the Scriptures to their daily lives.
CIVILIZING MOUNTAIN MEN — GETTING THE PRIEST OFF
THE DINING TABLE.
A colonel's wife, soon after she reached Tounghoo, was
walking one evening with her husband, when they met a
troop of Karens with their loaded baskets upon their
backs and bamboo spears in hand.
On coming up the Karens never moved an inch out
of the way ; but the leader, confronting the lady, reached
out his hand, unwashed as he had come down the moun-
tains. Knowing the English were their deliverers, he
could not help giving his hand to any white foreigner he
met. Mrs. H. was at first frightened at his wildness ;
but the smile and earnest manner, pointing to his native
hills, soon convinced her of his friendliness, and she was
a lady of too much good sense to refuse : she shook hands
with the whole troop, and they went on their way
rejoicing, leaving the colonel dreadfully shocked at his
wife's soiled gloves.
The colonel, on relating to me the incident, said, " I
wish the Karens would learn what water is made for."
I trust they are learning, but all the offensive habits
CLEARING UP. 201
of wild savage tribes are not to be altered in one
It was the custom for every disciple to give the hand,
but for four years they gave it just covered with earth
or lime, any way. For a whole year after commencing
the girl's school, I did not dare to speak of it ; but when
they came to know me so well as their friend, I ventured
to suggest, very gently, that if they would lay off their
loads and wash in the river before shaking hands, I
should like it better. A few walked away, but gene-
rally after this they rushed for the river before giving
So with the pig-pens. Speaking of these, I wrote at
that time : —
" One of the Board examines all round the place on
Saturdays, and brings me a report. It encourages me
not a little to see the pig-pens vanish. Last year the
two men who first settled here put up pens right under
their doors, according to their custom. I mentioned to
the Nah Khan how offensive it was, and that hereafter
we could not have them.
" ' Oh, mama,' he exclaimed, ' if you do so, not a
Karen will live here.' "
So I let it pass, and the pens remained just six
months. When they were building new houses, or pre-
paring for it, I mentioned the matter in the chapel.
The next evening not one was to be seen under the
The following is a letter from one of the Paku chiefs
at this time concerning behaviour at the settlement :—
202 RULES OF LIFE.
" I, Khan Poquai, one of the Institute Managers, to
the Churches, greeting :
" Chief Tekalai came to the Girls' Place and
stopped two weeks, and went up to worship but two or
three times, and two others with him. These three
cannot remain on the place. They have brought no
letters of introduction, and they go not up to worship.
" My dear brethren, the Teacheress tells us, and very
wisely, if any come here to live, they must come with
their families and goods, and remain permanently. If
they do not this, they had better not come.
" Now, the Teacheress wishes for the good of all the
people ; therefore think, I entreat you, of what God says
in Matthew, ' If ye take not up the cross and follow me,
ye cannot be my disciples.' Now, let us remember this
all of us. We who believe, strive to follow Jesus Christ ;
every one of us then must bear the cross.
" What is Jesus Christ's cross ? It is obedience to all
His commands. Let us remember, brethren, to do just
as He has told us to do.
" Khan Poquai."
The following are specimens of the recommendations
brought by all the settlers : —
" Blessing and mercy rest upon the teacher for ever !
" Dear Teacheress,
" I would say a word about our brother Thaboo,
who desires to go and live near the Great Schools.
Please receive him if he arrives, and instruct him in the
THE MIRACLE. 203
truth. He wishes no help, will buy his own house with
his own money, and take care of himself, and help build
up the kingdom of God.
" Teacher of the Church of Wathako."
" My very dear Teacheress,
" Now, my brother Hauchu desires to go and live
on the Girls' Place, and desires an introduction. He is
not a bad man, a liar, or wanderer, or idler, but an
honest person. Therefore, please receive him.
" Letter of the Church at Wathako."
" My dear Teacheress,
" I will tell you a word about our brother Tatha.
Receive him, I pray you, for he is not one that loiters
about doing nothing, but is a steady man, and worships,
although not yet baptized."
"Writing at that time, I remarked,
" The smiles of heaven attend us constantly, and
sometimes I feel as if I could do nothing but thank God.
If I could take the place of the poor woman who washed
her Saviour's feet with tears, and wiped them with the
hairs of her head, it seems to me it would be all I could
ask. I do think the work here is one living miracle.
I thought, possibly, after four or five years of toil, we
might see Tounghoo teachers able to lead on and work
efficiently ; and lo, what I was looking away for down
the future, we see before us."
The following is from Moung Po, a Shan magistrate : —
204 ONE-THIRD FOR CHRIST.
" My dear Teacheress,
" I will now tell you a few words about myself.
Formerly, I was in great ignorance, and knew not right
from wrong ; but when I heard the Lord God's com-
mandments from teacher Quala, I believed with all my
heart. For two years I have been Nah Khan (private
agent) to the Commissioner ; but whether I am at home
or travelling, I do not forget God.
" I have been out with the Commissioner now three
months. He has paid me ninety rupees, and I put my
heart in this way. Two months of it I will give to my
wife and children to buy food and clothing ; the remain-
ing one month, thirty rupees, I will give to the Girls'
School to help on the place."
" Can you give so much ? " I asked on his coming
down, when he replied solemnly,
" Yes, I can. One-third is not too much for Christ."
" Teacher," he continued in his letter, " you tell me
to learn Shan again, which I have nearly forgotten. I
will do so, and although I follow the Commissioner, I will
do all I can to help. I do not seek the riches or honours
of this world. Do not think my heart is fastened to the
things of this life.
"As my brethren pledge themselves to support the
Girls' School, so will I do according to the Scriptures ;
and this I do with great glad heart, for the mercy and
favour of God to me have been very great.
" May heaven bless and prosper the Teacheress."
The Shans came down into Tounghoo in great num-
THE BURMAN PRIEST. 205
bers. The women were pretty and interesting. I hired
a Bassein Karen preacher to go among them for six
months, and paid him from funds raised there by officers.
He met with a good deal of favour.
I then applied to Government for an island lying in
the Sittang river, to be set apart to a Shan Mission,
and received permission to take a building site for a
chapel and residence anywhere on the island. On reach-
ing America, I pleaded for a Bible-reader to go to these
Shan women to teach them from the word of God. I
found more difficulty than I had expected in securing
this. At length it pleased the Lord to remove every
hindrance out of the way, and the Shan women have
now one Bible-reader of their own in Tounghoo.
Generally the Shans are not willing to be instructed
by a Karen. They look up to the Burmese, but down
on the Karens. I once found a Burman ready to be
taught by a Karen, and a Burman priest, too. We were
in Monmogon, on the sea-shore of Tavoy, when a priest
from Ava came in inquiring for the white Teacheress.
On my entering, he immediately took his seat upon
the dining-table, in order to keep his head above that of
a woman. Not quite approving that etiquette, I ordered
a nice mat and pillow, which I always kept ready, such
as they used at home. Finally, seeing me take a very
low stool, and as I was very short, so that his head
would still be uppermost, he sat down, though with a
most supercilious air.
I handed him the Burman Bible. He desired to have
me lay it upon the mat, as he could not receive any-
206 MONG NONG.
thing from the hand of a woman, because her touch was
defiling to his godship. For the purpose of benefiting
his soul, if possible, I submitted, when he read for some
two hours, turning from the Gospels to Corinthians, and
everywhere, as if no stranger to the book.
" I cannot understand," he said, " this new birth.
How should I ? Nobody ever explained it to me." He
then allowed my Karen interpreter to explain and exhort,
and seemed really to be groping after light. But then
this interpreter was a remarkable man, a preacher of
God's own making.
In September, 1852, from our sea-bungalow on the
Indian ocean, I had written home thus : — " Burmah
requires two or three hundred colporteurs — men and
women — to go with the Bible in their hands and its
spirit in their hearts, and thread these streets and
mountain-passes, these rivers and nullahs, reading and
explaining its sacred truths, and I have no doubt but
this would be not only the speediest, but also the
cheapest, way of converting the nations." Two months
afterwards I went on a fortnight's trip up the Tenas-
serim river, in search of pupils, who would promise to
become Bible-readers, both men and women.
" Mong Nong ! " called out my head boatman one
day, looking off toward the hills. Not a soul was to be
seen, and I asked if he was calling the nats.
"No, mama; there is a strange man up here. He ought
to preach. He has a big tongue — a very big tongue !"
Soon the wife of the great-tongued man appeared, her
THE PRIESTESS. 207
arms full Df sugar-cane and bamboo rice-sticks. The
natives have a way of preparing rice for their journeys,
by roasting it in the small joints of a particular kind of
bamboo, which gives a peculiar flavour to the rice. A
dozen of these can be stuffed into their wallet, and eaten
with chillie or red pepper, or with bananas ; and it is
better than any pound cake, even to my own taste.
He and his wife were attending a great nat feast.
Among the Karens the office of priestess is recognised
as hereditary, and is held in profound esteem. They
have a custom, too, which requires every member of a
family to be present at their high festivals. These are
family sacrifices, and are conducted with great solemnity.
If a single member of the family is absent, or leaves the
circle during the celebration of the rite, the charm is
broken. Mong Nong and his wife had gone a great dis-
tance to attend, but in the midst of it the priestess
seemed struck with horror. She threw down the sacri-
ficial • knife, rushed around the room, down the ladder,
and into the jungle. All looked on in silent amazement,
and Mong Nong, while returning home, began to ask his
wife what such a religion could be good for which a
single individual could thus destroy. To the Divine
Oracles he now resorted daily for several weeks, until
fully convinced of the truth. He then led his wife to
seek it. Both were converted, both passed through much
persecution, and were the means of converting nearly all
His bold, fearless manner, his fine, tall figure, and
dignified bearing, made him seem almost like a second
208 MONO NONO.
Peter.* It was this man who seemed to have a magic
power over the Ava priest, and I trust Mong Nong will
yet bring him to the heavenly world for a gem in his
In the evening Mong Nong was with us at the Bible
class. We took up the parable of the talents. His
spirit was moved to its depths. I said not a word to
him about coming with me, but he began to confess. He
said he had buried his talent ; he knew he had sinned,
and asked if lie mi _rl it accompany me to town as a Bible-
reader and preacher ! He went, and for three montlis,
as long as I could find support for him, that man was
day and night proclaiming the G< >-j«cl among the Bur-
mese of Monmogon.
* The man was so much respected, that even the priests W( >uld
come out of their monasteries and extend their hand* as he passed,
because they saw he had power with G
ESTABLISHING A KAREN FERRY — LESSONS IN PRACTICAL
"Hurrah! Hurrah for Commissioner D'Oyly!" is
suddenly shouted from pinnacle to pinnacle, from glen
to glen, from river to river, and all over the Karen plains
"Why is this?"
Because, by one stroke of the pen, Captain D'Oyly
has scattered food, raiment, and love among thirty thou-
sand Highlanders; even two hundred thousand. A
few details will show how this was done.
The Karens had to bring down their loads of baskets,
mats, and pigs, and carry them across the river to the
market, in order to purchase food for themselves while
working on the school-grounds. At these times, the
ferrymen, taking advantage of their necessities, often ex-
torted presents or double fees. The authorized fees were
two annas for a load, or what a man could carry on his
back ; four annas for going and coming, if he remained
over night : no matter if the load was only one mat,
which he would have to sell for four annas, he must
pay the ferryman his two annas. Or suppose he had
210 LETTING A FERRY.
eight baskets, the usual load, which would bring two
annas each ; these, in all probability, he would have to
spend all the afternoon in selling, then it would be too
late to buy salt and fish until the next morning, so he
must pay two annas for crossing each day. two baskets
out of his eight, or twenty-five per cent, on his barter,
just to cross the river. To this the people submitted all
the first year as of old without complaining ; but as
they were supporting themselves, and working for the
public good, it seemed to me a very hard tiling that
those on the place could not take them aa
Finally, I represented the case to the Deputy Com-
ioner, asking permission t<> let them cross free in
the school-boat ; but the regulations then existing were
such that it was thought this would be injustice t" the
ferryman. However, next April, at the time the ferries
were sold at auction, the Commissioner sent me the
following note : —
My dear Mrs. Mason,
" I send you a copy of the Perry Regulations. There is
a final clause which will satisfy the Karens, by which you
are permitted t<> lend your boat Scot-/'/-" t<> travellers.
" Deputy Commissioner, Tounghoo."
The final clause was :
" Parties are not debarred from using boats that may
be lent to them for the purpose of crossing, but no such
boats are to ply for hire."
THE DILEMMA. 211
The ferryman went up to court about it two or three
times, and even now goes up with a troop every time a
new ruler arrives ; but it was just to him, as he pur-
chased the ferry with the clause before him. He may
not have received quite so much, but the cause of edu-
cation in Tounghoo was forwarded thereby by thousands
Upon this happy change, the Karens immediately
brought me in one hundred rupees to help pay the
school-boatman, and from that time all were free to cross
in the school-boats — an invaluable boon ; and as the
news spread up the mountains, the very hills clapped
their hands for joy.
Even blessings, however, have their temptations. Not
very long after this favour was granted, one of the school
girls intimated to me that all was not right, but would
on no account tell me what was wrong. I called the
Nah Khan, and asked him to tell me truly, Was he or
the boatman taking hire for ferrying across the moun-
tain Karens ? He acknowledged the boatman had taken
trifling things as presents for taking them across, as mats,
betel-nuts, baskets, &c, and with his permission, be-
cause they came in such croicds. I told him 1 had
obtained the favour for them ; the privilege must not be
Then came a heavy trial. If I screened them, every
one would say the great man can sin, and so can we. If
I exposed the wrong, disgrace must follow to us all, and
probably the Nah Khan would become an enemy to the
Girls' School. I was in deep distress, and knew not
212 young men's school.
which way to turn, for his power over the people was
very great. It produced for a short time a conflict such
as no one can realize, unless they can understand what
it is to see the object of their heart's desire in imminent
peril. But one morning I called the Nah Khan and
the boat-master, and told them I must inform against
them. They had transgressed against a Government
regulation, and the Commissioner most be their judge.
I did inform, and they were fined twenty rupees. They
paid it, and begged me to forgive them. I told them
\ I could forgive; and as I knew they were not yet
folly acquainted with God's law, I should pay them back
the fine mysel£
"We dun't want it, mama; only forgive us," they
I insisted on their taking it; and truly had they been
flogged or thrown into jail. 1 do not believe it could
have been half so great a punishment to them as it was
for me to pay that fine. I never after heard of any
delinquencies, and I believe the Nah Khan went off and
put his into the mission box,
Having obtained this 1 n for the Karen-;. I proposed
to them to establish a Young .Men'.- School on the same
land and on the same plan as the Girls' Institute.
After much dis< ossion and some fearfulness, they
concluded to undertake the support of fifty young
men for schoolmasters, the same number as they bad
insured of girls.
Amidst their shoutings for the Commissioner, they
set about this, and soon erected a building a hundred
TEACHERS* VISITS. 213
feet in length. They built it entirely themselves, and
added out-offices, and a house for the teacher, with a
Dormitories for the girls were also rebuilt, and a large
airy school-hall, of course, all of bamboo.
There was, and must be, the most pressing call for the
continuation of a Young Men's Normal School in Toun-
ghoo. Imagine, reader, that you are looking to the east.
You see a range of mountains rising in peaks like the
Alps, one above the other, and extending through the
whole province two hundred miles.
Now, please think of those numerous pinnacles, all
capped with Karen hamlets, and the more distant, for
ever making war upon the Christian settlements. On
this account the schoolmasters can leave their schools
only a few weeks at a time. They come down to study,
are perhaps in the middle of Corinthians or Hebrews,
and deeply interested. Down comes the chief :
" Teacher, I must have my schoolmaster. The
people are beginning to use arrack again, or the enemy
is coming. Our teacher must go back immediately."
At such times Mr. Mason always says to the
" Go to God. Ask Him. What He tells you, that
do." The result is, they immediately return for a week
or two, quiet affairs, re-assure the chiefs, and preach to
them all they have learned, and the truth, being fresh
in their own minds, takes a deeper hold on the people.
Then they say, —
" Now, chiefs, we have told you all we know, all that
214 THE PUPIL TEA> IB
the teacher has told as. Now we must go and get
By this time the villagers are full of the subject,
whatever it is, and they gladly part with the teachers
again, and contribute for their support. Tounghoo must
have Missionaries avIio can say, — " Come, brothers," not
" Go." They want leaders who can come down and
rise up at the same time. Sometimes the young
teachers are liable to eet high notions, and make the
children carry about a stool for them to sit on above
the people, as the wife of one did. They turned her
out with her husband, and two others with them, men
who had been uncommonly well educated, simply be-
cause of their city airs, and unwillingness to work with
their own hands. They are independent Churches like
the Congregational and Baptist Churches of America,
and as they Bupport their own preachers. Mr. Mason
leaves them free to choose for themselves.
The Tounghoo people will eventually become the chief
supporters of the Central College and Theological School
in Rangoon ; but it is hoped they will themselves
sustain the students they send, and thereby retain the
fraternal relationship so desirable between the chiefs and
"Tounghoo," Mr. Mason says, "should have the aid
of all those who desire the extension of God's kingdom,
because, while other missions are surrounded by culti-
vated fields, and contain a definite number of persons
for whom to labour, this one has no boundary on the
north and east but the Great Desert and the Yellow
THIRSTING FOR KNOWLEDGE. 215
Sea, which comprise untold races among whom the
banner of the Gospel is constantly waved forward.
Besides this region, there are others calling for our
labours. The Government Surveyor in Arracan thinks
we should reach the hill tribes there sooner than
Burmese would, and offers to support two schoolmasters
himself among the Kemmees.
The young schoolmasters of Tounghoo make great
sacrifices in order to study. Usually they alternate, —
the teacher on one pinnacle taking charge of one or two
adjacent villages during the absence of their preachers,
and they are indefatigable in their studies. Never once
in that land have I had occasion to urge on either the
young men or the young women, for they all seem per-
fectly inspired with a love of books, and really to thirst
There was an interesting incident connected with
these bamboo school buildings. The chief proposed to
cover one large house himself alone, and ordered off two
of his men. In about a week we were looking out one
day, when we saw something which 'looked like great
bundles of grass winding slowly along the school ground.
It proved to be a troop of women entirely enveloped in
bundles of thatch. Throwing it upon the grass, they all
rushed for the river, washed, dressed their hair, and came
up to give the hand of friendship. Then they set to
work to braid the thatch, and in a few days nearly a
thousand leaves were prepared, which in the rains could
not be bought of the thatch traders for less than thirty
rupees. They had travelled, cut the thatch for them-
216 LEARNING GEOGRAPHY.
selves, and had brought it upon their heads for not less
than Jive miles.
Mr. Mason taught the young men the Bible, mathe-
matics, and preaching. He says, in a note dated
October 23rd, 1858 : " We went through Matthew,
with part of Luke, the Acts, Romans, Hebrews, and
First Book of Corinthians. Many learned the first
principles of arithmetic, a few land-measuring, and 1
was surprised to find, at the close of the school, that
some who had learned from Mrs. Mason's coloured
maps had as good a knowledge of geography as they
would have gathered from books in the same time, and
could point to the principal countries, seas, cities*
mountains, and rivers, as accurately as I could."
Very little praise did those invincibles deserve for all
the mountains, seas, and rivers in their memories.
" Go and say over those names ! That 's a girV»
study, isn't it ?" they would remark.
" Yes, to be sure it is. Of course, men don't need to
know the way from Kannee to Jerusalem. To-inorrow
you needn't come, brothers. Girls, recollect we have
Thursday comes. I put up the diagrams and say,
" Now we '11 learn how the ' tortoise swallows the moon,' "
and before the doors are open, the girls' eyes are all
dancing with delight over their blackboard eclipses.
Next day, closed doors again. One girl is attempting
to explain her tortoise, which makes some sport, when
all of a sudden a burst of laughter from behind the
mat doors and windows. We all feigned terrible indig-
ANSWER TO PRAYER. 217
nation, but the morning after an embassy appears, with
this entreaty :
" Won't the Teacheress let the young men come too ?"
There was no need of further virgin"; them on to
geography, and I never saw school children more de-
lighted than they all were to learn how it was their feet
did not fly off from "that star earth" whirling in the
We made our own tides too, as the tidal waves do not
reach Tounghoo, with gourd worlds and orange zones.
The chiefs brought in money for the young men's
board, an hospital was erected, a cook hired for them>
and native teachers were appointed by the Board of
Managers; but the, teachers and schools were both in
great want of slates and stationery. I had been seeking
for them, and felt very sad when they came to me for
such little things as a sheet of paper or a pen, and
I could not supply them.
One day I called the pupils of both schools to pray
for paper, pens, and slates for the teachers, that God's
kingdom might be increased.
The mail comes in — a letter — Mr. Mason hands it to
me — and I read —
" I have just forwarded two boxes of slates, -contain-
ing twelve dozen, with paper, pens, threads, needles,
knives, scissors, &c, for your two schools. — M. Wylie."
Again, we were in great want of means to carry on
operations. I called the girls to pray, and asked the
218 PLANTING GARDENS.
chiefs on the place to pray that God would send money
for the sawyers, so that we might build up the house for
In the morning — letters — a draft for two hundred
The following acknowledgment was returned to Mrs.
Wylie, of Calcutta : —
" My vert dear Friend,
" Thanks be to the Most High Name, that you and
your dear husband are still permitted to stand between
India and Burmah. I cannot say I thank Mr. Wylie —
it speaks too little; but I will pray Heaven to reward
you all with that peace which our Heavenly Watcher
alone can give. If you are in correspondence with
Major Edwards, or any of the kind friends who have
raised this money, do please tell them how timely their
help was, and the Great Treasurer will not forget their
The next thing in which we set about instructing
these wild men was making gardens. In this they
manifested a good deal of zeal and enthusiasm, and
planted some two hundred palms, three or four hundred
betel-nut trees, three hundred plantains, with many
guavas, mangoes, and oranges.
They also planted a great many betel-leaf creepers,
which are very highly valued. These, I believe, were
all stolen, with about a hundred of the plantains.
The palms all died but two, with many of the man-
A YOUNG POLICE. 219
goes. I had been with them three miles down the river
for many of these, standing all day in the rain, return-
ing in the crowded boat at night, and to see our avenue
trees die, did indeed cause us grief; but they will, I
trust, in the end, succeed in making profitable gardens,
and in raising fruit and vegetables enough for the schools.
There was every reason to believe the fruit-trees were
killed by the heathen, for there was no end to the
trouble they gave us, turning in buffaloes, breaking
down fences, cutting off plantains, destroying roads, &c,
and in many ways harassing the Karens, and if they
attempted to defend their property, they were attacked,
and even beaten, by the mongrel Hindu herdmen. At
last the Saxon blood bubbled over again. My boys
could not stand it, to see the Karens browbeaten and
made dogs by heathen ; they rose, called out all the
boys of the district school, formed a body-guard, and
armed them with bamboo swords, staves, whips, and
lassos, and then woe to the buffaloes. The moment one
showed his head on the place, the guard gave the alarm,
when there followed a general chase on the part of the
police, and a general stampede on the part of the buf-
faloes and their keepers.
It was no use now either reviling or pleading. The
police generally returned leading up three or four heads
of buffaloes, for each of which a fine was demanded of
sixpence, and then, to teach them the law of kindness,
they often let them off free. This course caused the
little fellows days of hard running and weary watching,
but it finally tamed the savages, so that they would even
220 BRICKS FROM OLD WALLS.
come to them for protection from others, and in the end
they became ashamed of their own meanness. These
herdmen were from the Madras coast, and were calf
worshippers. One morning we found a great calf with
glass eyes set up in our chapel. They thought it a
public place, like a Burman zayat.
We had now seven short streets in our new settlement
around the schools, with elevated roads, usually twenty-
one feet broad, all made and drained, but we could pro-
cure neither stone nor bricks for them. Stones there
were none within several miles, and if the settlers at-
tempted to take the most broken bricks from either the
old wall or ruined pagodas, they were driven away with
a vengeance. This brought forth a petition, based on
the fact that almost all our roads were public, and made
for the good of the Burmese as well as for the Karens.
The matter was long delayed, owing to the military
authorities possessing the wall. Finally, thus much was
secured to us :
" Memorandum :
" I have given orders that brick from the town wall,
from spots not very near to any of the principal gate-
ways, may be taken by Mrs. Mason for the construction
of a road on the opposite or east bank of this river.
" George D'Oyly.
" Tounghoo, August 15th, 1858.
The old dilapidated parts of the wall were being used
for roads, and had long been a general resource for all
other public purposes.
SEEKING TIMBER FOR THE INSTITUTE TEACHING
While in Rangoon, before my return to Tounghoo, in
March, 1857, the thought occurred to me to ask Govern-
ment for timber for the buildings, when Colonel Phayre
immediately gave it his sanction.
As soon as we had organized the Karen Education
Society, having made an estimate, I sent in a petition
to the Superintendent of Forests for two hundred and
twenty-five logs, large and small. This was objected to
as being an unnecessarily large amount, when I had to
write and explain that it was for no ordinary school-
house, but an institution with dormitories, &c. But in
order to get the work begun, I changed my petition,
asking for an immediate grant of fifty large logs, and
added the petition in the form prescribed. This was
allowed, with the promise that I should have more when
On receiving the grant, the chiefs met to see what
should be done about getting it in — a real Herculean task
to their inexperienced hands. However, they chose
two of their principal chiefs — one for the Bghais and
Mopagas, and one for the Pakus and Mauniepagas, to
look out the trees, and see that every village bore its
proper share of labour, and if any one failed, the village
was to be assessed as the two heads Bhould decide,
They went out by dozens and by twenties, working a
month at a time, supplying their own elephants and
mostly their own proi isions.
Finally, November arrived, the water began to fall,
and only four or five logs of timber had reached the
m1 1-ground. If the river became very low, it would
be impossible to float the logs, and we Bhould be delayed
a whole year longer, before anything could be done
towards the building.
"Mama! mama!" exclaims Maukie, puffing with
all his might.
" What is the matter ? "
"Thai Goung"— the Tree Chief— "has taken all
our logs ! "
■ Why so?"
" He >ays weVe cut sixty, ten more than yon told us."
" Call up the head men."
"Yes, we have, but they did'nt understand."
"No! Jauque don't know. We've done no such
thing." So here was a dispute that ended in the Karens
declaring I must go up and see for myself, or they would
abandon the work.
The Burmese were annoyed that the Karens should
be allowed teak like themselves for Bchool buildil
the Goung had circulated the report that the Karens
were paying no regard to order.-, but had felled ten trees
more than the grant allowed. On this plea the Burman
Forest Superintendent seized upon the whole lot, and
confiscated all for Government ; precisely as the Burmese
are in the habit of doing in their own territory with
timber merchants and others. A Karen merchant, a
friend of mine, thinking he could make money faster,
went up into Burinah, had an audience with the King
himself, (so he declared,) and contracted for a large teak
forest, or the privilege of working it for five years. The
King gave him a golden umbrella and the title of Chief
Forest Goung, supplied him with elephants, and greatly
honoured him. Of course, the ruse took, foresters flocked
to the golden Tee, and great numbers joined in the
enterprise. The Chief Forester borrowed money largely
to support his men, and at last the timber was all down
to the water's edge, several thousand logs of beautiful
" Ho, stop there ! " halloos a red-sashed peon, riding
up in great haste, armed and frowning.
" What is it ? "
" The King forbids the removal of his timber."
Of course, all work comes at once to a dead stop.
Dismay is pictured on every face.
Off rides the golden Umbrella, several days' journey
up to court. The King doesn't know him ; no audience.
The Sandozain sends him with his petition to the Sande-
gan. The Sandegan thinks there must be a mistake.
It is the Nah Khangyee he wants. This functionary
can take no note of the matter. It does not belong
to him. He had better go to the Minister of the In-
224 OFF TO THE FOREST.
terior. All this time work is at a stand-still, and debts
Bribes, bribes are wanting. He must bribe, and that
largely too, from the Woongyee down to the lowest peon.
The Karen found these largesses would amount to more
than half the value of the timber, the costs of working,
felling, and transportation to the other half, and he was
penniless. The timber was still on the shore, and the
poor fellow in a Burman jail, when I left the country.
This is simply a specimen of the Burmese system of
extortion. So our Kannee Timber Goung no doubt
intended to build himself a snug little house out of the
Karens' teak. Convictions to this effect are expressed
to the Deputy Commissioner — that it is all a Burman
trick. He does not believe it, but writes :
" My dear Mrs. Mason,
" Bring in the logs at once by all means. I will send
an order to the Goung of the district that he is to let
them go when your men come for them. You know
that fining you (I had begged him to fine me,, if they
had done wrong, and not punish them) would be fining
myself and all others interested in your labours. The
Superintendent of Forests must be the judge. In the
meantime, use the fifty logs."
Now the matter had to be investigated. Burmese
Reporters would all go with the Goung. Karen chiefs
were too careless, and too easily browbeaten by their
enemies. None had strength and zeal combined enough
for the work. Therefore, in order to save the character
BOATING IN THE BAINS. 225
of the Karen Christians from destruction, I undertook,
with my husband's consent, to go over the forest, and
count every log myself.
The following is my journal forwarded to him : —
" I betook myself to the boat, and had just started
when the clouds began to thicken, and it soon Came
pouring down, and rained incessantly for twenty-four
hours. At night we found lodgings in the verandah of
a senii-Burman house, for the woman refused to sixe us
any other quarters. Everything was wet through, over-
dress and all, except my pillows. We spread them out,
took a supper of cold fowl and bread, talked a long
time with the family concerning the Christian religion,
sung a hymn, had prayers, and sat down to write, but
fell asleep at the fifth word. I had been asleep perhaps
half an hour, when, ' Bow wow ! wow ! ' sounded close
to my ears. I aroused up, and found I had companions
in two jackall-looking dogs, which had crept up there to
escape the rain, as I had myself.
" The second morning the rain was still pouring. The
river, the boatmen said, was so swollen, it would be
impossible to stem the current. We could reach the
timber-camp by noon on foot, but we had not proceeded
twenty steps before I was just as wet as a drowned
chicken, and speedily returned to the boat.
" They were heathen boatmen, and thought, as I was
a woman, my standing in the rain was of no conse-
quence. The river was a real mad river ; deep, and
scooped out as if it had dug graves for every careless
226 A MAD RIVER.
passer-by. But the bottom was covered with white
pebbles, and the water so clear, we could see every little
fish on the bottom, just what he was about.
" There are no lofty mountains flanking the stream
here, but the forest is very old, and its beautiful trees
have their leaves of every possible form, and of every
shade of green.
" Then there came the rope-plants — the nymphs of
the forest, so gracefully looping up the creepers all
along the shore, studded with blue, yellow, and purple
" The poor boatmen had to be half the time in the
water when we reached the rocky bed of the stream,
urging the boat from side to side, from snag to snag,
waist deep, and often pulling us right under a clump of
knife-edged fan-palms, or, still worse, under the long,
ponderous cables of the rope-trees that grated over our
heads, to the imminent risk of turning us all into the
" As soon as we reached the camp, I started with
one of our Karen Board of Managers on an elephant,
crossed the river, and began to climb ; and climb we
did indeed, for nearly an hour, — now down through a
deep ravine, then up again, until we reached the summit
of a mountain far distant.
" ' Dear me ! not far enough yet V I asked.
" ' No, mama.' So down we plunged again into a
deep, deep gorge, and there, between two almost per-
pendicular ridges, lay one of the monster logs that had
been such a trouble to them. Around this three or four
NATIVE PRAISE. 227
more, all too large to be ever pulled up the mountain, or
through the gorge. The Karens have tried to hire the
Burmese to saw them in two, but they demand four
rupees each, so they are putting forth their own skill ;
and they wanted me to see their management.
" I don't much enjoy tramping over these jungles
myself, or having the Karens do it, for I half expect
a tiger-leap at every turn. Still we are going in ano-
ther direction to-morrow, where I am told a few trees
have been felled, a whole day's journey there and
back. Good night. I 'm going to read Deut. xii. 7 ;
will you please tell the boys to read Luke xiii. 19 ?"
Mr. Mason writes in reply :
" Teacher Kouk-kay has written a letter for the Karen
Star, in which he says : ' Mama Mason makes exceeding
strenuous efforts for Tounghoo. In order that the people
may get wisdom, she is planning the erection of a large
building for girls to study in. The teacheress has now
gone into the jungles to exhort the people to bring down
the timber quickly. Moreover, the Commissioner desires
us to learn, and to this end He helps her.' So you see
your labours are not unappreciated by the natives."
This I repeat, reader, not because God favoured me,
but the icork, and, therefore, it came like a little olive-
leaf to my weary heart ; indeed, I could not help regard-
ing it as an answer to prayer, for this young preacher
was one who had opposed the Girls' School. Indeed, he
had been the strongest opposer, lest they should fall
under woman's government.
Those Kannee Wide Awakes ! With a shout and a
228 MILITARY ORDER.
rush they mustered on the sand-beds in the Kannee
creek, in the moonlight, and formed themselves into
small companies of tens and twenties, chose their own
leaders, and filed off in ranks right and left, ready for
" Do you, officers, agree to command, each of you, the
men under you?"
" We do."
" And do you, soldiers, agree to obey your captains V'
" Er, er. We will obey."
This questioning was the duty assigned to me, for
mama must review the company.
The scene was to them extremely exciting, and to me
For two months the Karens had been at work trying
to get in the timber for the school-house, yet not half
the roads had been cut, nor half the logs even found.
They were so undisciplined. Each set of men would
obey only its own chiefs, and if their own chiefs were
absent, they would obey nobody. So the chiefs, being
each independent, had no idea of yielding to one ano-
ther ; consequently, the works progressed very slowly.
As soon as I reached the jungles, I suggested this
military kind of order, and from that time the work went
on so rapidly, they were astonished at themselves, but
they needed instruction in almost every department.
Mechanics they had no idea of, and I found they inva-
riably attempted to drag logs up high mountains the
small end upwards, and it was not without a good deal
of reasoning that I could induce them to change.
As concerned roads, too, the idea of cutting a smooth
path for a mile or two more for two or three logs seemed
an intolerable burden, so they tugged against snags and
crags. Sometimes I would find them on a high moun-
tain, just in time to save elephant and rider from certain
destruction, as in one instance when they barely escaped.
They had reached a part of the road, lying immediately
over a precipice of seventy feet or more, and the road
just sloping enough to give the log a cant downwards,
when nothing could have saved them. A mere boy was
on the elephant's neck, who knew nothing more than
to trudge on straight before his eyes. I advised the
captains to appoint one of the cleverest men to attend
each elephant, with two clearers to watch and repair
The consequence was, they were able to drag as many
logs in a day as they had been before in a week.
LIFE IN THE WOODS — HOW TO MAKE BRAVE MEN.
The following conversational letters to the President
of the Karen Education Society of Tounghoo give
glimpses of life in Kannee at this time : —
" Kannee Jungle.
" My dear Mr. President,
" I almost think you will break the tenth command-
ment, and covet my rural pleasures. Yesterday I deter-
mined to show the Karens that perseverance would con-
quer all difficulties, so started with a guide, six or eight
Karens, and three elephants, to find some fifteen logs
which have been felled in the depths of the forest, several
miles inland, and which, report said, ' would not move.'
" After crossing streams three or four times, then a
deep miry plot, where at every step the elephants sunk
up to their bodies, we resorted to a wood road, and
thankfully enough, for I was greatly frightened lest we
should sink entirely. On the wood road we travelled
some two hours, then turned into a deep, thorny jungle,
and wandered on for two hours more, cutting our way at
every step, till at last our guide cried out, —
ASHAMED TO GO BACK. 231
" ' Hai mat — lost ! ' and finally acknowledged that he
had never been to the place. It was then twelve or one
o'clock ; I sent a party forward to reconnoitre, while we
tethered the elephants to browse. After two hours the
party returned, with the report that they had found five
logs, but not the slightest path, and so far in, we could
not possibly cut our way to them and return that night.
Seeing in their looks a strange dislike to proceeding, I
thought it better to take Franklin's advice.
" ' Stoop, stoop,' so told the men to do quickly just
what they pleased. Of course, the elephants were turned
back, and I sunk down in the houdah, thinking what
could be the design of such a lesson of disappointment,
and finally concluded that neither the Karens nor their
teacher had yet wreathed their brows with Job's laurel,
when suddenly down shot a ponderous creeper from its
airy swing upon my head. As soon as I could collect
my scattered senses, out stole two or three long thorny
fingers and caught my hat, and, when I resisted, clung
with all seeming malice at my fingers.
" The Karens compassionated my head, but I begged
them not to pity my head, but my heart — that I was so
ashamed to go back with three elephants, and without a
single log. To attempt to do a thing and not do it !
Upon this, every head drooped, and all were silent for
some time. Finally, the chief said,
" ' Let not mama be sad. Monday night there shall
be a good straight road every step of the way through to
" ' Yes/ responds another. ' And we '11 come and
232 CALLING THE BLIND.
sleep here till every log is in/ And they kept their
word, dragging down triumphantly every log felled.
" But I was going to tell you of our Sabbath in the
wilderness, when we all ' went up into the mountain to
11 Last Sabbath morning we assembled on the top of
a hill, in a bamboo grove, over-arching so as to form a
most lovely pavilion. There we spread our mats, and
sung our Karen psalms, making the hills and glens echo
to native airs. I took up the parable of the feast in the
fourteenth of Luke, explaining to them how the Gospel
was first preached to the Burmese, but they, having
neglected it, had caused the Missionaries to turn to the
Karens. Then directed their thoughts four years back,
to the first time they ever heard the name of Jesus.
Again to the subject of the evening before. ' Seek ye
first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all
these tilings shall be added unto you,' making them tell
over themselves the various ways in which God had
shown them that He knew their need, and had provided
for it. I assure you there was not a dull eye or a vacant
expression among the whole audience. Then attention
was called to the remainder of the parable, showing that
it was their duty now to go after the savage Bghais, and
' compel them to come in.'
" ' Aye, but the preachers must do -that,' they an-
swered. ' The Lord commanded His servants, the little
" Then they had to learn how the order was for all,
and how they were doing it by building a house in which
NO FLOGGING, 23$
to educate teachers just as much as the teachers them-
selves. I even impressed upon them that every log of
teak or iron- wood post they secured was calling just
so many of the halt and blind. They came down the
hill greatly animated, the young men saying one to
" ' I didn't understand all that was said, but I shall
try and call two of the blind ones to-morrow ' — that is,
obtain two logs for the school-house.
" ' And I shall try and get three.' And so on, and
so on ; and the next day they did work, as if their very
lives depended upon it.
" I mention these little things that you may know
your people, and the power that will move them ; while
flogging would only crush and wither every upspringing
of self-respect. Flog Christian soldiers ! I was so in-
dignant to hear it suggested to you. If I could have
my wish, that degrading punishment should be banished
from military life, from sailor life, and from all civilized
" A short time before, they had asked if we shouldn't
give up, and not try to find the logs.
" ' Englishmen never give up,' I answered, which
created a smile, but nothing moved them to a firm reso-
lution, until the appeal to their own self-respect. So
you see what material you have for soldiers. Forcing
might have pressed them on for a time, but would not
have accomplished this work ; while a single appeal that
touched their hearts brought every log. The Karens
will never make soldiers good for anything, unless their
23-i TIIE KAXNEE GLEN.
leaders are men of moral power. Order and discipline
belong to school-boy lands. Of course, we ought not to
expect it here among men just redeemed from barbarism ;
but when I look around upon one and another, whom I
know to be as noble, self-sacrificing men as ever lived,
fasting all day themselves and giving their food to
others, of which they are capable, in order that a Chris-
tian school might be established, — when I think of this,
and then remember how these men looked and spoke the
first time they came to visit us, I cannot express my
" Oh, me ! if it would not tire the patience of Job, to
sit here on the ground hour after hour, and watch a
dozen men hack, hack, hack, on a single log, with a
single axe, just big enough to cut off a squirrel's ear.
They won't use a bigger one, although I have bought
three for them.
" But I was going to give you a chapter for your
history of Tounghoo, and will begin with my beautiful
glen. You should have been here this morning to see a
Kannee sunrise ! so lovely, grand, and exhilarating !
" Just picture yourself on a bluff forty or fifty feet
high, standing under a lofty canopy of arching branches
interlocked, from which run down rafters, and beams,
and pillars of long woody creepers.
" Then there are such Swiss-looking windows, cur-
tained with green leaves, here and there looped up on
one side by a twisted gray cord-plant and tassel, while
the other side is thrown open. Our front is an arched
portico about fifteen feet high, of heavy cord-plant span-
ning clear over the cliff. Now we see away down the
bluff large overhanging acacias, tasseled with a thou-
sand pendants, looking into the sweet little Wechaduc
creek all buried in shadow. Then, turning to the left,
we have a deep winding gorge, brimfull of sunshine,
gushing along the sides of the rocks, now glancing over
the waters, anon dancing around them as if held by the
spell of their murmuring music, as they warble along
round the base, while other beams shoot out, colouring
whole showers of golden leaves, across the glen or the
trembling foliage upon the opposite mountain. Now
cast your eye along the lofty forest, striped with white-
barked lagers trcemias, and you lose the stream for a
moment, then catch it again winding lazily down, and
going to sleep in a cove overhung with bowering fan-
" In the fore-ground, right over a jutting point below
the cliff, where the little creek falls into the Kannee
river, stands my lodge in the wilderness. It is a booth
ten feet square, covered with wild plantain leaves, and
enclosed with nature's own palisade of reeds and grasses.
" We want a moon, and then the night view would
be picturesque enough ; for on the opposite shore stand
four large, wild gipsy-looking huts full of mountaineers,
boiling their chatties, roasting fish, lounging, and sing-
ing over their camp-fires in all manner of classical
attitudes ; while torch-lights are streaming up on to
their brown faces and happy eyes, their striped kilts
236 MY TENT.
and red turbans ; and meanwhile the pebbly creek goes
' Faint and low, faint and low,
To and fro> to and fro ; '
till all thought of teak, hills, and tigers dies away in its
" TO MY DARLING BOYS :
" You can't think what a nice, cozy nest I have,
encamped on one side of a crooked little brook under a
few plantain leaves.
" My house is quite sumptuous, I think, for Kannee !
I divide it — that is, in imagination — into bed-room,
bath and receiving-rooms, for you must know, I hold a
levee here every morning. Then during the day it is
Kannee Court-house. What would the Commissioner
say to this ? Don't you think he would be looking
after the Stars or the Eagle's beak ?
"At evening my hall transmutes itself into a chapel,
and so ends the day. The brook is murmuring its
little psalm. The peacocks are screaming out like
muezzins in the mountains, and all else is still.
" This is just the most coaxing little brook I ever
heard. It reminds me of one that used to go singing
past my bed-room window away under the old birches of
Vermont, when I was a wee thing, ten years old — the
very brook in winch I was baptized. I have always
loved that brooklet ; its sound goes with me like a thread
of silver, soft and soothing through my life.
"Do you know, boys, I have some other music here
LITTLE THINGS. 237
— a Kannee band of froo- serenaders ? One would think
the creek full of bassettos, tenors, and altos, calling and
answering from shore to shore. I should think the
cicadas might join in for sopranos. Now, if you don't
know these big words, look in the dictionary."
" Little things again ! " Yes, friend reader, don't
you like little things ? I do. Life is made joyous or
painful by little things. Its little pauses are more to us
than its great capitals. The delicate turn, the unseen
glance, the sympathetic smile, a single strain from some
old song, affects us more than the grandest orations and
It was the most painful part of my work for the
Karens that I was obliged to be so much away from my
husband. But here again God cares for us ; for he was
kept in better health than he had enjoyed for fifteen
" My dearest Husband,
" When you can spare the boys, I wish you would let
them shoulder their bags, and come over here with the
Karens. They can march it, and reach here at night.
Tell them to put up one suit each, with one loaf of
bread each, and two pounds of roast beef, for the jour-
ney, with two bundles of plantains, a little salt, and
their umbrella. They would have a world of enjoyment,
and never forget it. Tell them to keep between the
Karens, not before or behind, lest the tigers eat
238 INVITATION TO THE BOYS.
" I have some most valuable men here — self-sacri-
ficing souls as ever lived, who will do anything to get
the logs. Our work is going on beautifully now, and I
hope will come to an end next week, Saturday, but that
is uncertain. We can only drag three logs a-day, with
the best possible will, they are so far away ; and you
know we had^f/ty teak to get, and seventy-four iron-
wood. Don't go away before I come back."
The following letter reached me at Kannec from the
"My dear Teaciieress who loves ub,
" That which I wished for exceedingly you have sent
me — books, pens, and paper — things which I love best.
When I saw h them, I held them up in the presence of all,
and the children rejoiced with me; the elders were also
very glad, and their faith increased.
" The people of this -village come every day to worship
God, although they have no chapel ; but they are much
afraid, and keep themselves armed, lest their enemies
should try to kill them while at worship. Therefore,
pray that love may increase among this people, who are
still pagans. One of the villagers has been to the girls'
place and seen the work, and heard of the plans for the
Karens, and has come back and told us a great deal,
until the hearts of all the villagers are very hot. When
I heard about it, I raised my heart to God thus : — ' Oh
God, stretch out thine arm, and help mama to complete
her undertakings speedily, I beseech thee.' "
NATIVE SYMPATHY. 239
San Quala at this time sent me his kind remem-
" My dear Friend Mama,
" May the great love and peace of the Almighty God
rest upon you and your pupils — girls and boys — for
" Teacheress, I know you do not forget us. Do you
think I have forgotten you? I have not — not for a
moment. I learn everything about your schools and
doings. Your power of doing is very great. I cannot
forget, I remember you always, and as God blesses your
work, my heart is exceedingly happy.
" You have increased our strength with bread, sugar,
and cocoa-nuts, which we have received — a very great
gift — besides the ten rupees to buy a goat for our babe.
Do not feel anxious about us in the least. Everything
I need the Christians supply with a free will. There is
nothing in this world that I want, except that I may go
and preach Christ, so that souls may be saved — this is
on my heart continually. But my wife and child are
sick all the time, and this shuts me up at home and
makes my heart very sad. Because it is the judgment
of heaven, I try to endure it. Pray for me, dear Teach-
This I received as a great answer to prayer. Mr.
Mason had told me if Quala opposed the girls becoming
schoolmistresses, he did not think it would be of any
use to try, as he would not be likely to change his
mind when once determined. Thanks to the Almighty,
who can turn all hearts, he did change from a state of
indifference to feel a lively interest in the work, and
subsequently did all in his power to help us on. I
believe that God will yet influence many others to follow
HUNTING FOR IRON WOOD POSTS — CONQUERING
" Qua au ! Qua au ! " Look out ! Look out ! cry
the Karens one to another. " Tigers in this jungle."
Scarcely are the words spoken, when : —
" Ka ! Ka ! " Tiger ! tiger ! screams the forester at
the head of our little party.
I had wandered all the day before, and found only
five suitable trees. Again we had started on foot
through streams and thickets, morasses and thorns, and
up at last on to a high ridge of table-land. I walked,
as it saved them the trouble of cutting the way for an
elephant, whose houdah is so high. We were ascend-
ing, tired, and slowly, yet another last hill, dreaming of
our solitary work, when all came to a dead stop with
this dread scream. It was not a tiger, but a leopard,
right in our path. The Karens set up a tremendous
whoop, and the beast trotted off very deliberately. A
day or two after I saw a small one, as I was upon the
elephant. It was walking leisurely along the valley, a
few rods distant from me, and looking up as if doubtful,
whether to notice our intrusion.
There was a beautiful teak log, larger than could be
drawn away, seven and a-half feet in girth, on the side
of a hill ; so one of the managers dug out a little saw-
pit, and contrived by his own wit to get the log over it,
and saw it through lengthwise; this was the first time he
ever sawed a foot, and, of course, I had to go and encou-
rage him. Another time I taught them the use of the
wedge, by which they saved two other fine logs.
Floating the timber was the next great task ; for the
Karens had not one of them learned to swim, and never
floated a log before in their lives. They often lost their
turbans, and were nearly losing themselves too, but they
would not have a Burman to help them. Their self-
respect was aroused, and they were determined to show
that they could perform great deeds as well as Burmese.
An instance of this national pride occurred once near
our door. The bank of the river caved in, burying a
very valuable teak boat ; several Karens attempted to
raise it, but failed, so I sent for a Burman. Poquai,
the Paku member of the Board, hearing this, hastened
over with a picked number of Karens, asking, —
" Shall God's men call for heathen to help them in
such a little thing ? "
I paid the Burman, and dismissed him. In about
two hours Poquai brought up the boat, when all looked
at me with such laudable triumph and satisfaction, that
I felt really proud of them. The very next night the
boat for which we had paid forty rupees was missing,
and we never heard of it again. Probably the Burman
knew where it went to. This makes the fourth that has
MEASURING LOGS. 243
been taken from us, or been lost, since commencing these
Our fifty teak logs, when spread out on the school
land, were worth one thousand rupees, and the Burmans
could not help regarding them with covetous eyes. So
when the timber Goung came to make his report to
Government, he seemed determined to make out that
the Karens had exceeded the number granted to them.
I measured every foot of the logs with him, and pointed
out where one had been cut into two parts. Still he
sent in his report, counting the sawed and split logs as
two. This led to a report on behalf of the Karens.
I wrote thus to Captain D'Oyly : —
"I shall feel greatly obliged if you will do me the
favour to express to Government my most sincere thanks
for this gift to the Institute, and to all who have aided
me in obtaining it. In answer to the kind inquiry
how much more will be required, I would say, the
timber already granted will not be nearly enough for
the school-house alone, without dormitories. I would,
therefore, beg you kindly to recommend a further grant,
provided that the Government will allow us to defray
the cost of felling, and floating into town, from the
amount of timber granted. Without this permission
the grant would now be quite useless to me, as I could
not command the means to pay for its transportation,
and the Karens, having lost two of their elephants,
244 A FURTHER GRANT.
would not feel able at present to make any further effort.
Owing in part to their inexperience, the Kannee timber
was pointed out in the most difficult places possible, in
the deepest gorges, and on the tops of the highest pin-
nacles, so that it cost us severe labour, and many months
of time, with three elephants and a hundred men, to
obtain it ; and then nearly one-half of the logs had to be
cut or sawed in pieces. I would, therefore, ask if a fur-
ther grant be made, that it should be given in localities
accessible in the dry season by water, and that the
Goung be ordered to give us sound timber.
" I am, Sir,
"Your humble servant,
"Ellen B. Mason."
The following was Col. Phayre's immediate reply,
ordering the Goung to give us standing trees, which
would ensure good timber.
" D. Brandis Esquire,
To the Superintendent of Forests in Pegu,
" With reference to Mrs. Mason's request, in a letter
dated 14th July, 1858, for a farther grant of one hun-
dred and twenty-five logs of teak timber, for the purpose
of completing the Karen Female Institute, and your
remarks thereon in your proceedings, dated 14th in-
stant, I have the honour to inform you that, under the
special circumstances of the case, the Commissioner has
IRON-WOOD TREES. 245
been pleased to accede to Mrs. Mason's request, and
desires that the timber may be made over to her as
"9th Oct., 1858."
Besides the teak, we had to get in a hundred iron-
wood posts. The heads of tribes reported them all
felled, each village having felled its share, some twenty,
some forty logs ; but all they brought in were as crooked
as serpents, and they could do no better, they said,
unless I went with them. It was in February, and very
hot ; but again I walked twelve miles, over mountains
and gulfs, and not a single straight log could be found.
I went into my hut too tired to speak, threw myself on
the mat, and poured out my despair to God. The
Karens saw without a word that I was distressed, and
that made them wretched. With heavy hearts we
assembled that night.
I tried to be cheerful, but dwelt on the loss of respect-
ability which would follow to the Karen chiefs, and the
triumph the Burmese would feel, on comparing the posts
of Jesus Christ's kyoung with theirs. I avoided, how-
ever, asking them to cut any more posts. I had not
spoken long, when the two head chiefs stepped forth
and harangued the people with so much effect, they all
voted to fell a hundred more, on condition that I would
select them !
No small task this to go over all these mountains
again, and find a hundred straight iron-wood trees.
The next morning I set out, though as with a leaden
'2±6 HARD WORK.
weight upon my heart, with a large company impatient
for the work.
I soon found three beautiful trees as straight as a
plumb-line, but from four to five feet in girth around
" Oh, mama, our people could never hew down iron-
wood trees!" the chiefs exclaimed in dismay. Iron-
wood is the hardest timber known, and so hard, it is
seldom used except for house posts. At last they found
that in no other way could they get them long enough
or large enough for such a building, and they determined
to try. Guess at the task — i ight n« n had to work three
hours, relieving one another, before they got down a single
one of these trees. Then it took twenty men two days
to hew it down at the base to the required size. In this
way I passed over the ridges where iron-wood was found,
leaving five and six to battle with each tree, as far as
I could persuade them to join the battle at all. So we
continued for two weeks before we counted up the whole
The Mopagas and Bghais were on the point of giving
up, and some did ; but the Pakus and Mauniepagas
persevered, exhorting their weaker brethren with great
gentleness, and at last the tremendous task was accom-
plished. Then came the dragging or hauling, almost
the hardest work of all, for some of the best logs we had
found were in the most inaccessible places. Four of them
were fifty feet long without the slightest crookedness,
and one day we sent for one of these far into the deep
forest. Through ignorance or carelessness, when I was
ALMOST KILLED. 247
not with them, they had felled this one so as to let the
top fall up the cliff, leaving the large end downwards, on
the side of a mountain and over a tremendous gorge.
After a long consultation, it was resolved to hitch the
elephant to the large end, and try and turn it half round,
so as to bring it to lie horizontally across the mountain,
instead of perpendicularly, that we might drag it off,
ascending circuitously. Not knowing in the least what
men of sense would do in such a dilemma, I allowed
them to try this ; but no sooner had the elephant moved
the log, than it began to slide, pulling the beast down
after it, and we stood horror stricken, thinking it must
be dashed over the precipice, rider and all, when it was
stopped by a large clump of bamboos. The rider, a brave
boy, had succeeded in leaping off, and as soon as possible
the tackling was cut, and the poor elephant released.
But it was so frightened, it could never be made to pull
any heavy weights afterwards.
The next day we started again with two elephants,
two large iron chains, and provisions for two days, deter-
mined still to have the log ; so they put up a wigwam
of bamboo branches, and by my continual urging and
calling, I succeeded in getting all up from the gorges,
with their water jars and fire- wood, before dark, for tigers,
we knew, roamed over all that forest. The most diffi-
cult to get in was old Kargau. He had dug out one of
those pretty, flesh-coloured bandicots as large as a kitten,
broken its legs, and stuffed it into his wallet, to suffer ail
day till it should be spitted alive.
I sent my assistant to kill it. The mountaineer
248 THE LOG OBTAINED.
thrust him roughly away. I persisted, and it was at
last put out of its misery, but the owner never forgave
it. They tell me it is the practice everywhere either to
keep their small game alive or strangle it, so as to retain
Perhaps the Apostles found it as hard to train the
Antioch Christians. As we assembled that evening
under the bamboo arches upon the mountain, I called
the assistant to read Acts xv. 20 } and we had quite a
warm discussion on the subject. All agreed with me
that it was wrong, except old Kargau, who had the
bandicot. lie would not give up. Perhaps the others
would not if they had found any game, but it so hap-
pened that he was the only one that caught a bandicot
Toads and frogs they serve in the same manner, and
toad-hunting is very common. The toads are beat up
by scraping the bare foot over the grass, when the toad
will hop or croak, and the hunters pounce upon it at
once, or give chase, break its legs, and clap it alive into
their bags. Snakes, too, skinned alive, they stuff wrig-
ling into their bags for supper; and I really think it
has cost me more labour to change these cruel practices
than it ever did to learn a new language.
Tired and nervous, but not discouraged, my boys and
I spread our mats and lay down, praying earnestly that
God would teach me, that I might teach them how to
obtain the log. Then we made another trial. "We
took two very strong elephants, placed them above two
large deep-rooted trees, and hitched two long chains ;
THE ELEPHANT'S TEARS. 249
then some twenty men shouted to the beasts with such
vehemence, they gave a tremendous pull, and, being
goaded on, up came the prize, stretched horizontally
across the hill, right above the great teaks, entirely
clear from the fearful abyss beneath. When the Karens
saw the elephants were safe, and the log positively
secured, they gave one long mountain shout of joy, after
which we all knelt and gave thanks to God. The same
day we hauled it up the mountain, and the next day
into the water.
The Burmese, when they saw it, said such a log could
not be bought for a hundred rupees, that it could not be
found, and no Burman ever did or ever could get such
a log, or would even make the attempt.
The poor elephant that was frightened belonged to
the Girls' School, and cost me four hundred rupees.
Her name was Poma, and she was so gentle, we could
always ride on her with safety. She knew my voice
like a child, and would put her trunk into my boys'
bedroom window every morning for a plantain. They
could do anything with her. She would kneel down at
their bidding, put out her leg for them to climb up, or
hand them water when they were thirsty, and she de-
lighted in carrying them across the river on her neck ;
of course, they were very fond of Poma, and were always
making up nice bits of barks or tamarinds and salt for
her, but one day she was brought home sick. She laid
her trunk on the ground, and tears positively ran down
her face ! The boys and girls were very sad. I sent
for a Burman doctor, and took her to our own yard.
250 poma's death.
Finally, she seemed better, and was taken off to
browse among young bamboos, of which they are so
fond. But a few days had passed when they sent to me
in haste, saying Poma had fallen down, and was too
weak to get up. I went to her some two miles. As
soon as she heard my voice, she stretched out her trunk
towards me, and moaned as if asking for sympathy.
The Kan 'lis brought two stout elephants to raise her
up; but she could not stand, though she took food and
drink from my hands, and from the girls and boys, while
she would take from no others ; but, alas, she could not
swallow, and as soon as we were gone, she rolled it all
out upon the ground, having taken it from simple
attachment, so I begged the men to shoot her. Her
tusks brought forty rupees, but they often sell for eighty
After five different encampments, absorbing six weeks
of time, we succeeded in £ettinc: all the loss, with bam-
boos and ratans to raft them down to the mouth of the
I had delayed until nearly dark superintending mat-
ters, and then found the elephant left for me was an
ugly brute that I did not dare mount. There was but
one chief remaining behind, but he and his two men
set to work and made me a bamboo raft three feet
wide. On this they poled me down that wild, mad
river, about six miles to our own camp. The follow-
ing is a letter written to my friend Mrs. Wylie at this
time : —
A RAFT VOYAGE. 251
" I have felt very sad about spending time in the
jungles, traversing pathless mountains and glens in
search of timber, but now I see the hand of God leading
me onward, for in no other way could I have come
so near the hearts of the people, or been made ac-
quainted with their individual characters. Now I
know whom to trust, and how each can be made useful.
u I am thankful that I was able to be with them, for it
cheered them not a little, taught them to think and
reason more correctly, and through God's mercy pre-
vented sickness. During the last week many came
in here to see the logs and look upon them with great
delight and satisfaction. No doubt it will be far better
for the people that they have had to work hard for the
timber, for had I purchased it, they never would have
valued it half so much. Now they are pouring down to
settle round the Institute.
" It was one of the most interesting nights I ever
spent, when we encamped at the mouth of the Kannee
river after more than three months of hard toil, six
weeks of which I had spent with them ; now there lay
the logs, strung to bamboos, filling the river.
"A hundred Karens were stretched around six or
eight camp-fires, covering the sand-bank just below my
booth of grasses perched on the overhanging cliff.
" The full moon was rising behind the trees, its soft
light shimmering upon the waters and lighting up the
faces of the Karens, as they stood in dripping garments,
some drying themselves around the camp-fires, others
tending their chatties or their cooking vessels.
252 THE MIDNIGHT SAIL.
"We all knelt down and poured out our hearts in
grateful praise, and, after singing a hynm, which
sounded far over the waters, coming back in echoes
from the mountains, I got into my little boat, made
our way through the foaming surf, and rowed down to
the city, reaching home at midnight."
THE RAISING — THE PIC-NIC.
A grand festival was that of ours ! I mean the
It had cost us from two and a-half to three rupees
each to bring the iron-wood logs to an equal size, and
Finally, a day was appointed for planting the posts of
the Institute, and an exciting time we had of it. About
two hundred workmen came in, but at first they had no
idea but of merely raising the posts.
I called the Board, and explained to them how neces-
sary it was to level the ground and to brick under and
around the posts, and they said it should be done ; but
the other chiefs opposed, thinking it a useless waste of
time. Finally, I was obliged to appear and address the
crowd, which was so silent, that I spoke only in my
usual voice, which always seemed to have a strange
effect upon them ; probably the great contrast between
my voice and their own high key was the secret of it ;
but I always recognised on such occasions the immediate
presence of the Almighty God. Seeing by their eyes
254 A BOX IN THE POST.
that all were ready, Chief Ledda of Baugalay seized upon
the moment, struck an electric cord which brought out
roars of laughter, and all rushed to the work ; some to
the ground, others in troops, shouldering their spades
and pick-axes, for digging out bricks.
They found this under preparation a pretty formidable
work, but after three or four days of hard labour it was
accomplished. Several thousands of bricks had been
dug out of the old town wall, backed a quarter of a
mile, boated across the river, and seventy tall, smooth,
iron-wood posts were firmly planted six feet deep, en-
closed in brick. In one of the posts was deposited a
small lead box, in which we had a Government plan
of the grounds, the history of the Karen Education
Society, with a photograph of their President, a letter
from Colonel Phayre, an account of the schools, a
notice of the Karen Bible, a few letters from the head
girls, and a few coins. The opening was then so closed
up, that no one probably could ever find it.
Connected with this was a Sunday-school celebration,
the first one ever witnessed by the Karens in Tounghoo.
The long beautiful lawn between the Institute and Young
Men's School had been prepared with seats, and a plat-
form for strangers. Settees had been placed for the
chiefs and elders, who arose one after another and
addressed the assembly in their own native languages,
but with an eloquence perfectly irresistible.
Several English officers and ladies were present, who
also addressed the congregation, Mr. Mason interpreting.
The children then sung the " Happy Land," in Karen.
THE CHILDREN ROBBED. 255
Mr. Mason pronounced the benediction, and they were
left to enjoy the repast.
Refreshments had been provided by our kind friend
and helper, Captain Bond, Commander of the Artillery,
and native food by Mr. Mason. Little eyes were very
big with expectation on that day, for the long tables on
the lawn were loaded with boiled fowls, rice, sugar-cane,
plantains, corn-balls, Shan and Burman sweetmeats, and
English cakes ; the eating stands were wreathed with
flowers, and the orphans all appeared in their new dresses,
given them by Mr. Mason.
No sooner had we left than down rushed the wild
Bghais, pouncing like bears over all the tables.
" Children fed, and grown people hungry !" they mut-
tered with scorn. " No good, no good." So one seized
a fowl by the neck, another turned a whole dish of rice
into his turban, and another filled his wallet with cakes,
and off they leaped, the ducks and hens dangling, and
one old man very deliberately munching two corn-balls,
first one and then the other.
The children went home in great disappointment.
The next day I assembled the whole concourse, and read
to them Luke xiv. 13. "When thou makest a feast,
call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind : Ye
shall not afflict my fatherless child ;" and again, " Pure
religion is to visit the fatherless/' &c. " The stranger,
the fatherless, and the widow, shall come and eat," and
asked them if they did not some of them break God's
law the night before. The Board of Managers imme-
diately took up the matter, and gave them such a
sermon, they all cried out, — "Stop, brother, stop!
We '11 pay ! We "11 pay !" and immediately laid down
ten rupees to buy again for the children. One chief
sent off at once to the mountains and brought down
his fatted pig, and all vied in giving the poor one good
But the young preachers now came down upon me
with great earnestness, thinking I could not possibly
have the least authority for making any festival at all
Pic-nics, Sunday-school celebrations, gatherings for
the poor, all alike were " devil feasts" to them. It
might do for a Christian land, but not among demon
worshippers, they said. I t<>ld them, if it wounded their
consciences to see the poor little children get a good
dinner, they need not come, but such as approved might
come and make addresses. For my own part, I believed
the Bible was written for all countries alike, and that
said, " When ye make a feast, call the halt and the
The care of the young preachers, however, shows a
beautiful love for Bible truth, which is their great safe-
guard, and will, in time, regulate all their intercourse.
It is of no use to talk to these people, unless you can
prove from the Bible it is right. The following letter
from Mr. Mason shows their earnest desire for truth : —
" No feature of the work among the Karens appears
so full of promise as the eagerness with which the young
preachers seek for instruction on Biblical subjects. Dur-
ing the three or four weeks spent with our Associations,
BIBLE STUDENTS. 257
whenever I sat down to eat, there were always a number
of young men around me seeking information on difficult
subjects ; and when I strolled into the forest, a long
peripatetic train questioned me at every step. Some-
times I would seat myself to rest on a granite rock,
overlooking the plains thousands of feet below, when all
would quickly surround me, — a crowd of young men
with their open Testaments, each one eager to ask con-
cerning some passage or other that he found it difficult to
comprehend. One would desire me to explain Paul's
assertion, ' For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain/
Another, the expression : ' I am crucified to the world,
and the world is crucified unto me.' - A third finds it
difficult to understand, ' I could wish myself accursed
from Christ.' A fourth could not comprehend our
Lord's language in relation to John the Baptist ; while
still another was perplexed with Peter's statement, that
' David had not ascended into heaven.' ' David, the
good man who wrote the Psalms, has surely gone to
heaven. Were there two Davids ?' Some had chrono-
logical difficulties to settle ; others asked for historical
information, and still others had numerous inquiries to
make on the natural productions mentioned in the
Bible ; while not a few had questions to ask which
Gabriel himself could not answer. Thus a single lec-
ture would be diversified like mosaic, with theology and
botany, exegesis and zoology, metaphysics and light-
ning wires, history, sacred and profane, geography,
ancient and modem, with a sprinkling of almost every
other subject of the past, the present, and the future.
258 KNOWLEDGE SPREADING.
After lying down to sleep, I often heard the younger
teachers inquiring of their seniors the signification of
various passages, and asking information on numerous
topics on which they had been instructed. In this way
the knowledge communicated to one is passed on to tens,
twenties, and thirties, making my school of theology
as wide as the province, and its pupils as numerous as
the ministry within its borders ; and it is an undeniable
fact, that when we need a man to go to a station where
there is real self-denial to be endured, it is one of this
irregular corps who volunteers. They are the cream of
the churches, rising by the law of moral power, a law as
immutable as the law of gravitation/'*
It was while in the Kannee jungles that I made a trip
into the ancient Mopaga country in the north.
We started with one elephant, but found the road so
very steep and rough, I sent it back.
The path led over three sharp alpine peaks, and
through as many deep glens ; then out gushed broad
sunlight over an immense paddy field, with here and
there a wee bit of a shanty, and I began to congratulate
myself on finding a resting spot again, when I chanced
to look forward, and lo, there were the boys who carried
my little bundle, away on the tip-top of another cliff
as far as the eye could reach. I had been quite ill the
night before with fever, and was far too weak for such
* Mr. Mason means that no school can make the man, bnt he
would also say that no man can be made without the school, or
without letters. No man can be a warrior without his arms.
UP KANNEE HILLS. 259
a jaunt, but it was useless to look back when once
started ; and, besides, we could not look downward
without clinging to the bamboos, as we should have
gone to the very deeps. So we went plodding on, and
even after reaching the narrow opening in the sky, by
clinging to the roots, rocks, and whatever could help
us, still no house appeared, nor the slightest vestige
of any village ; but, following our guide, we wound along
on the side of the hill, down, down, down, and were
about to step off into a gorge as black as night, when
a dozen hands were raised, and a whole flood of moun-
tain music burst up the ravine, and held us spell-bound !
It was the little congregation of Wechaduc, yet far
distant, at prayer, and singing,
" Rock of Ages, cleft for me,"
in their own native tongue.
I stayed my steps, and listened with emotions inde-
scribable, glancing over the whole history of the past
four years in as many minutes, until lost in bewildering
joy, for well did I recollect the first visit of those tau-
beahs to our house. The leader was the minstrel who
came to inquire if God's Son had come from heaven.
Now he came smiling down the glen to meet me, his
babe in a blanket upon his back for me to bless ! And
on reaching the house, all the mothers, to the number
of a hundred, I should think, brought forth their infants
for me to lay my hand upon their heads. I knew not
what to do, whether to gratify them or not, for it
seemed fearful to think of standing in the place of our
Blessed Redeemer. However, I patted their little heads,
and shook hands with some four hundred, then went
into the chapel, and explained to them who alone could
bless their little ones.
The whole village consisted of only one house, besides
the chapel and teacher's residence.
Imagine a building four hundred feet long and thirty
wide, divided into some thirty rooms ; then another
house parallel, just separated by a verandah three feet
broad ; then still another parallel, separated by a verandah
just the same, and all three alike, except the central
row, which is perhaps ten feet shorter at each end,
leaving an open court in front and a work-yard behind.
This central row belongs to the chief and his relations,
and he holds his court in the first hall. Each compart-
ment has its little bedrooms, just long enough to stretch
one's-self in, with cooking-box and all manner of jungle
apparatus strewn on bamboos above ; while beneath is
a pigsty, walled up with bamboos to the floor, which is
about six or eight feet from the ground, with little trap-
doors in the floor, so that they may feed the pigs without
going out ! There are three separate roofs to the build-
ing, and under the eaves extend long bamboo spouts.
This constitutes the village of Wechaduc, one of the
largest of the Mopaga tribe.
I found forty children in this village who could read
very well and repeat the Catechism by heart. Several
of them had been baptized. This school was taught by
Nau Tejau, one of the Bghai head girls of the Institute.
The rains are pouring hard. The sawyers have all
PRAYER AND ITS ANSWER. 261
run away — will not work in the rain — demand higher
wages. I arn in distress ; have no means to go on with
the work. I call in the chiefs and girls, lay the case
before them, and entreat them to ask God for money to
complete the building for His glory. All bow in prayer.
Eight o'clock, — nine o'clock — ten o'clock, and still we
plead there upon our faces :
" Lord, if this undertaking pleaseth thee, ' Establish
thou the work of our hands.' "
In the morning I go out, and look over the half-sawed
logs. Saws all still — not a soul comes. I cannot raise
wages — I have no money. Oh Lord, do not suffer thy
servants to be put to shame ! Oh Lord, the heathen are
rejoicing. They revile thy name — they cry, " Aha !
aha ! where is now your God ? " Oh Lord, make haste
to deliver us.
At two o'clock comes the mail — there is a letter, and
I read : —
" Calcutta, August 8th, 1859.
" My dear Mrs. Mason,
" You will see, by my letter to your husband, that
I have had the pleasure to receive from a friend a dona-
tion of eight hundred rupees for your school. It is
from a friend who has lately gone to England.
" MACLEOD WYLIE."
Thanks, oh thanks, to the Almighty Jehovah ! Now
" Let the heathen rage and imagine vain things," but
we will acknowledge the Lord our deliverer.
THE KAREN NATIONAL BANNER.
" Why cannot the Karens have a banner — a national
banner — now that such numbers of them are coming out
of heathenism ? " This question was asked among the
chiefs of Tounghoo, after a visit to the cantonments,
where they had examined with great delight the English
The Institute being set up, the question of banners
arose, and it was decided that every Karen clan which
joined the Education Society, and helped to support the
Girls' School, should be allowed to put up a banner on
the building. Six clans raised theirs at once, taking
for their distinctive flags the clan-emblems embroidered
on their tunics. These are seen on the front posts or
iron-wood pillars of the Institute. They represent the
Sgaus, Pakus, Mauniepagas, Mopagas, Bghais, and
Pant-Bghais, who have joined the enterprise. This
excited a great deal of enthusiasm, and the village
maidens all vied with one another in weaving- and
embroidering the most beautiful flags.
It was after erecting these banners for the tribes that
the question came up concerning a national emblem or
LETTER OF QUALA. 263
a Union standard for all. Quala took np the subject
with earnestness, and sent an epistle to the churches
in Tounghoo. He then chose a device for them,
which was a Bible with a sword across it. This banner
has recently been presented to the nation. The follow-
ing is an account of its presentation extracted from the
New York World, of August 8th, 1860 :—
" In the Mariners' church, in New York, last Sab-
bath evening, a national banner was presented by one of
the largest Bible societies in America to the most inte-
resting and hopeful nation in all Asia, the Karens.
" This strange, wild people are being rapidly Chris-
tianized, and they have sent to America for a national
flag to commemorate their exodus out of heathenism, —
the most remarkable and exhilarating request that we
have ever heard of from a new nation.
" The following remarkable letter was read from the
principal native teacher : —
" LETTER OF QUALA, THE SECOND KAREN APOSTLE.
" c To all the churches in Tavoy, Maulmain, Rangoon,
Bassein, Shwagyn, Tounghoo, and Prome, greeting !
" ' To the great teachers, small teachers, men and
women, young women, young men, deacons, elders, old
and young, one and all, greeting !
" ' I, a son of Tavoy, Teacher Quala, trust you all
know and understand the word of God, and can speak
of the things pertaining to the truth and light which
God has given us. In order that we may be able to
264 LETTER OF QUALA.
conquer our enemies, and escape from every evil hand,
God has given us a weapon. What is it ? What kind
of a weapon is it ?
'"Behold! The children of Judah, when they
escaped out of the hands of the Egyptians, in order that
their children might understand how they were delivered
out of their hands, erected banners with emblems of the
hawk, the lion, the bear, and ox.
" ' Again, the English nation, when they escaped out
of the hands of the idolatrous Romans, erected a stand-
ard of the cross as a national emblem ; and when their
king went to rescue Jerusalem from the Moslem invaders,
took back Judah's lion, so that future generations might (
understand. Again, the Americans, when they declared
independence, erected a national emblem of the eagle,
with stars and stripes. This was to inform every nation
that they would rise heavenward, over every enemy.
" ' Therefore, my brethren, young and old, mothers
and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, nieces and
nephews, uncles and aunts, cousins and friends, children
and grandchildren, we, the uncivilized, the children of
the forest, barbarians, without books or understanding,
without a king or a name in the earth, we, the nation
in thick darkness, whom God has compassionated and
sent His own Son Jesus Christ to save out of our dark-
ness and bondage ; — we, in the year of the world five
thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, received books
from the hands of the teachers — the children of America.
We received the Holy Bible, the words of God, and
the ten commandments which He gave to His people, the
A KAREN BANNER. 265
children of Israel, by the hand of Moses. This was a
treasure more precious than all the books of the earth —
the best above all books ; the Chief among books.
" ' We, the Karens, were like wild beasts of the
mountains — like the wild speckled fowl of the jungles.
We had no knowledge, no understanding, no power.
But now we have received instruction indeed. Now to
us Karens God has given books and teachers, and now
we, too, have schools and school-houses all our own.
Therefore it is well if we rejoice with exceeding great
joy ; and now let us erect a National Banner, as other
Book nations have done. Let us erect it over our school-
houses, and let us choose for our emblem, not a lion or
any beast, but the weapon which God hath given us by
which to subdue our enemies — even the " Word of
God, which is the Sword of the Spirit."
" ' Now, teachers and teacheresses, friends, the children
of God among the Karens everywhere — what think you ?
Will this be good, or will you differ from me ? Instruct
me, I pray you, if there is a better way. Dear friends,
let us think of what our mothers taught us. " Dogs go
in troops ; they catch the deer. Villages united conquer
enemies." This is what I have to say : " If many work
together, much the reward, and the greater their
" 'Dear friends, let us look at Luke xii. 15. I have
seen a letter — Karen teachers asking support of the
foreign teachers, and I was greatly ashamed. Brethren,
teachers, churches, all, consider, I pray you. The white
foreign teachers were like our father and mother ; first,
they had to be instructed by others, but they did not
lean on their instructors for their curry and rice. They
did not ask their teachers to feed them. Let us follow
the white foreigners, and learn of them till we can make
clocks, and glass, and swords, and cannon, and tele-
scopes, and fire-carriages — till we know the earth's
boundaries, all nations and medicines ; but let us sup-
port our own schoolmasters and preachers.
" ' The white foreigners do not ask the Burmese to
feed their teachers. The Burmese have teachers, and
they do not ask the white men to feed theirs. There-
fore there is no place for us to ask — not in the least.
" ' Do we not know ? Do we not understand ? Birds
build nests ; the young ones learn. Fathers die ; sons
take their seats. Mothers die ; daughters take the
mothers' places ; and think, I pray you, of King Solo-
mon's words : " A wise son is the joy of his father, but
a foolish son is the grief of his mother."
" ' Let us not seek for ourselves alone, but seek, plan,
and devise for our posterity down to the remotest gene-
ration. Therefore let us erect a banner for our whole
nation, and glorify God, that the surrounding nations
may know that we have come out from heathenism, and
are determined to be a Christian people.
" ' Quala.'
" This is a literal translation of Quala's Karen letter,
published in the Star, a monthly paper printed in the
Karen language. At the time of presentation, the
Secretary of the American and Foreign Bible Society,
THE EMBLEM. 267
the Rev. F. Haynes, preached a very able sermon. The
Rev. Mr. Stewart then made over the flag to the Bible
Society, remarking that his congregation had given till
he had to tell them to stop giving ; and Mr. Haynes,
on receiving it, made some stirring remarks in re-
lation to the Mariners' Church, especially in con-
nexion with a member going out from it who had been
the first source of the great Swedish reformation in
" The flag has a blue ground, with the device of a
Bible and sword in colours, and a motto : ' The sword
or the Spirit, which is the Word of God.' The
motto is in the Karen language, in large white letters.
" At the close of the sermon, Mr. Haynes presented
the flag on behalf of the American and Foreign Bible
Society. Mrs. Mason received it in place of her hus-
band, now in Burmah, on behalf of the nation. Mrs.
Mason then replied as follows : —
* In 1834, F. 0. Nilsson, a converted Swedish sailor, was baptized
by the Rev. Mr. Stewart, of the Mariners' Church, N. Y. In 1839,
he returned to his native land to preach the Gospel to his countrymen
and kindred. After labouring several years amid persecutions, fines,
and imprisonment, he was finally banished from the kingdom, leaving
fifty-six baptized believers scattered in different districts.
In 1855, the American Baptist Publication Society adopted a
system of Colportage for Sweden, and on the 8th of September,
the Rev. A. Wiberg, as Superintendent of Colportage, sailed for
Stockholm, where he arrived on the 7th of November. Some fifteen
Colporteurs were appointed, and soon all Sweden was traversed by
this devoted band. As the result, there are now upwards of one
hundred Baptist Churches, with a membership of between five and
" ' I beg to tliank the American and Foreign Bible
Society for this Karen National Banner. I thank you,
Sir, in behalf of the twenty-five thousand Karen converts
of Burmah, enlightened by the Bible which your Society
has so liberally given them, in their own language.
" ' I thank you in behalf of my husband, the trans-
lator of the Bible for the Karen nation. I thank you
in behalf of the four hundred young preachers and
teachers of the Karen nation ; in behalf of the four
hundred district schools of the nation ; in behalf of the
four hundred Sunday-schools of the nation ; in behalf
of the seventy-five thousand Karens who have deter-
' mined to come out from heathenism, and to receive
" ' It may be known to you that many believe that
a hundred years hence the Karens will be the ruling
power in India, and the Missionary nation to all Asia,
the right-hand of the English nation, because they so
generally receive the Bible, while so many of the nations
reject it. Therefore I thank you, Sir, in behalf of all
the hundreds of thousands of Christianized, civilized
Karens who shall tell of this gift to their children, and
wave this national banner ; and especially I would thank
you in behalf of the women of the Karen nation.' "
HELP FROM ENGLAND.
It was on my way to Tounghoo that I wrote an
account of my school plans to my kind friend, Robert
Scott Moncrieff, Esq., of Calcutta. His brother, the
Rev. W. Scott Moncrieff, of London, took the letter
immediately to Miss Webb, Secretary of the " Society
for Promoting Female Education in the East." I
had then never heard of that Society.
And as if God would say, " There shall be no failure
when I undertake," he had previously sent the Rev.
W. Hazeldine to see Miss Webb. Mr. Hazeldine was
Chaplain at Tounghoo, and had been out on a tour
among the Karens, where he took the jungle fever>
which had compelled him to return to England ; but
he had carried with him there a world of sympathy
for the Karens. Now, I beg to ask if any Christian
man, woman, or child, can doubt for one moment that
there was in all this a most remarkable answer to
The Society for Female Education in the East
has been in existence twenty-eight years ; has sent out,
according to the Report for 1862, one hundred and
270 FEMALE EDUCATION SOCIETY.
three female teachers ; had then raised £53,355 ; had
sent out work for sale to the amount of i?31,830 ; and
rendered aid in various ways to Girls' Schools, super-
intended by Missionaries' wives, and by private indi-
viduals. Two hundred and fourteen of these schools
are, at present, in connexion with the Society; yet
what are these among so many ? They have Native
as well as European teachers in the field, and are
labouring in China, Burmah, the Punjaub, Calcutta,
Benares, Lucknow, Madras, Tinnevelly, Bombay, and
many other parts of India, Ceylon, Mauritius, South
Africa, West Africa, the Levant, and Egypt. Yet this
Society began with nothing in 1834, and has been
carried on entirely by ladies, and ladies of different
denominations, working in union for one single object,
the glory of God in the salvation of heathen women.
Its Report for 1860 closes with this striking, and in
America almost forgotten, command : —
" And bring my daughters from the ends of the
On hearing of my undertaking for the women of
Tounghoo, Miss Webb, the Secretary, immediately
opened communication with me, and very kindly made
inquiries-coffering to help us. This drew forth the
following letter : —
" Tounghoo, August 22nd, 1858.
" My deae Fkiend,
" I feel myself under great obligations to your Society
for taking an interest in Burmah. I thank you, espe-
OUR girls' school. 271
cially, for thinking of our dear Karens, and in so friendly
a manner offering me aid. I recognise in this fact a
clear answer to my prayers. I see as striking evidences
that the Lord is working among these Karen mountains
as if a voice from heaven should proclaim, ' This is
God's work in the land of the Bghais.'
"Our second term and three days' examination are
just over. The girls have been more successful in learn-
ing than I have ever seen girls in my native country in
the same time. They have now a tolerably exact know-
ledge of the Gospel of Matthew, the Acts, the history of
the Old Testament, the geography of Asia, Europe,
North and South America, and a good understanding
of the solar system. The latter has been particularly
interesting to them, because they have always been
taught that in an eclipse of the sun or the moon a demon
devours the heavenly bodies.
" Our Girls' School numbered, the last term, sixty
members, all from the best families of the Pakus, Mo-
pagas, Bghais, and Pant-Bghais. They have not in a
single instance appeared in soiled apparel. They have
washed and cooked for themselves, and brought their
own food from the market. One was expelled from the
institution for theft ; but severe measures were required
in only one or two instances. One of these was the case
of a chief's daughter, who, for neglect of duty, was sent
out of school, or rather for a week was not allowed to
recite her lessons. This was a great trial to her, as she
had been the first in the school. Still I saw no mani-
festation of anger ; on the contrary, all that she said
272 THE CRISIS.
was to beg for forgiveness, and she returned a humble
and polite girl.
" The other case gave me great anxiety. We had a
rule that every pupil should have her hah* put up in a
decent and orderly manner when she came into the
school-room in the morning. One day almost half of
the o-irls had neglected this duty. I sent them back to
their rooms ; and when I called them, not one appeared.
There was evidently an opposition to the rule. They
were all forbidden to enter the school or come into my
room for three days. This was a great trial to them,
though they had their meals as usual. On the second
day, three of them declared their resolution to return
home, and they would have done so, if others had been
willing to follow them. I feared and prayed. But I
sent them only this word, that if they went away, they
would show to all the churches that they could not
humble their hearts, and all the headmen would rejoice
that they did not need them for teachers. That was
enough. Not one of them left, and I had no further
trouble in respect to cleanliness. Often during this
period I would see their sparkling eyes peeping through
the bamboos during the hour of recitation ; that was a
favourite hour with all, for I had introduced the custom
of allowing them to examine me, instead of my examin-
" I have for the Female Department one paid male
teacher, two assistants, one Paku, and one Bghai ; then
two other sub-assistants, one for the sick and one for the
bazaar business. These are permanent. Under these
SCHOOL MONITORS. 273
are six heads for the boarding department, two for house-
work, two for sewing, two for the ground around and
under the houses, and one for the sick. Besides these,
we have ten monitors chosen monthly ; the other heads
are chosen weekly. The monitors see that all bathe and
dress their hair properly, keep their places in the classes,
and recite correctly.
" In the Young Men's School I have the superinten-
dence of two general teachers, one cook, two hospital-
heads, two house-heads, and two heads for the grounds ;
these heads, too, are all chosen weekly, the monitors
" Every Wednesday morning all assemble together,
young men and young women, to take lessons in good
manners, and in keeping a day-book.* So everything
goes on in an orderly manner, whether I am present or
not. No one receives the least pay, except an arithmetic-
book or the money to purchase one.
" By having two schools at the same time, I find
many opportunities to instruct the young men as to
their behaviour to the other sex. For example, it was
a rule that six of the girls entrusted with the marketing
and six of the men should purchase all their vegetables
at the bazaar, and bring them home. I soon discovered
that while the girls came home with heavy baskets on
their backs, the young gentlemen tripped on before with
* In this day-book we made a record of every rod of land which
they cleared, every foot of road they made, and every stump they
dug up, which excited great emulation among them, and saved the
school much sickness in term time.
274 KNOWLEDGE AND WORK.
a very light bag or bundle under the arm. I took great
pains to change this custom, in which, however, I did
not entirely succeed, because the young men were not in
the least ashamed of it, and the girls were disposed to
boast of the burdens they carried. One of the teachers
said to me —
" ' Mama, if our wives work much and carry heavy
burdens, we love them ; if not, we hate them.' That is
the prevailing feeling among the unbelievers. In time,
I think I shall succeed in bringing the young men to
be ashamed of such things ; but it takes more than one
term to change heathen customs.
" At the public examination I desired the best of the
young students to examine the girls in the presence of
the assembled chiefs ; but I did not venture fully to un-
fold their attainments, lest I should awaken opposition
to the school. In fact, a teacher has already come out
openly, and declared to the chiefs that they would yet
come under woman's government. Pray for me ! Oh,
pray for us in this exigency ; for here lies our great
danger. Many were at the outset opposed to a girls'
school, because, they said, the girls would become indo-
lent and useless ; but, in fact, they feared lest they
should acquire knowledge. To obviate this objection,
the girls have willingly taken their spades and worked
in the garden two hours daily, labouring as zealously as
" The men settlers around our place have a good
school-house, and support a teacher for all the children
in the village. My two boys examine this school every
AN OUTSIDE SCHOOL. 275
Saturday, and teach the children Bible history from pic-
tures, requiring the scholars to read everything in the
Karen Bible. They repeat what has been learned before
the whole assembly at the close of the Sabbath-school,
which embraces all the colonists, male and female to-
gether, with both the schools.
" As these people live around me, I have a good
opportunity to accustom them to cleanliness, order,
morality, uprightness, love of children, and sympathy
with the sick and bereaved, all duties which they deeply
need to be taught ; so that even in this respect a school
is formed in which I esteem it a precious privilege to
" In regard to all that God, the Almighty God, and
not man, has done here, I can say, Behold, God is my
salvation. I will trust and not be afraid, for Jehovah
the Lord is my strength. He whose throne is in
Heaven — who sends His word upon earth, and His
word runs very swiftly, He will rule from sea to sea, and
from the river to the end of the earth. They who dwell
in the wilderness shall bow before Him; for He will
save the poor when he crieth, and the needy, and him
that hath no helper. He is God, the faithful God, who
keeps covenant and faithfulness, — the Almighty. Dur-
ing the last year I have learned the meaning of that
name, the Almighty, for no one can pray, ' Give us this
day our daily bread,' like one who has no bread.
" When I first resolved to attempt this self-sustaining
school, I promised my husband that I would write to
some Society in England or Scotland, and endeavour to
276 PAINT FOR THE POSTS.
obtain help for myself. But my duties were so pressing,
that for six months I could not find time to do it.
During this period God had sent me so much, I could
not find the heart to do it. It seemed to me a thing
forbidden. It appeared as if God had called me to trust,
and to lift up my eyes to the hills from whence all my
help came. I did so without fear or doubt, and now He
has sent your Society to aid me further.
" I think I shall let the Karen girls of the highest
class enter the Ornamental department. Because they
are so diligent, Mr. Mason thinks they have a good
claim to this privilege, and they take great pleasure in
drawing, embroidering, and music. Even our old chief-
tains looked on the drawing-books of the girls with
visible pride, having a taste for art and brilliant colours.
I will give an instance to show their love of the beau-
tiful. After the posts of the house, sixty in number,
were well set, I said to a member of the building com-
mittee that they would look very pretty if they were
painted and lackered. The very next week the Pakus
and Maunies brought one hundred and thirteen rupees
for this object. One or two days afterwards, a Mopaga
head-man visited us, and wished to learn how every-
thing was to be done. I mentioned this, and asked him
if he had heard what the Pakus were doing. He knew
nothing of it, and said not a word, but after three days
he came again with two other aged head-men, and
counted out ninety-three rupees as a contribution from
two villages only, for the purchase of paint for the
KAREN EDUCATION SOCIETY. 277
" The land, building apparatus, furniture, and every-
thing indeed appertaining to the School, is made over
legally to the Karen Education Society, that Society
engaging to support and carry it on perpetually from
' generation to generation.' So that no Foreign Society,
or individual, can have any claim upon the property of
the Institute, or any control over it, it being left wholly
to their own Board of Managers to control for them-
selves. With this knowledge before your Society, could
you help me ?
" If you would undertake the permanent support of
a principal and a native female assistant, you would
relieve me of much anxiety. The support of a single
lady would amount to about <!?72 sterling per year.
The support of an assistant for the Karen department
would be i?10 sterling, and for the Burmese, ^?18. As
to myself, I have no fears. I only wish that the
existence of the school may be made as secure as
(Signed) " Ellen B. Mason."
The Report of the Society for 1860 gives the follow-
ing result : —
" There are few fields of Missionary effort upon which
the eye of the Christian rests with more adoring wonder
and gratitude than upon Burmah. The deep interest
which the Committee anticipated would be felt by their
friends in connecting themselves with this work, as
announced in the last report, has not been disap-
pointed, and the ' Special Fund for Burmah ' has almost
met the demands upon it. Of Mrs. Mason's Training
School for Karen girls at Tounghoo, the Committee
have received heart-stirring accounts, and they have
rejoiced in being able to support this labourer in her
arduous yet delightful Murk. The large supplies of
school apparatus, which the liberality of their friends
placed at their disposal for her, have arrived safely.
" The Committee have this year undertaken also the
maintenance of a native female teacher for a school for
Burmese Karen trirls at Kemendine, under the superin-
tendence of Mrs. Inqalls. To those who are ac-
quainted with the history of that mission which ' Judson
prayed into existence/ her name needs no introduction ;
and much gratification has been felt at this opportunity
of sustaining her self-denying and zealous efforts for the
benefit of the heathen females amongst whom she has
taken up her abode."
Thus wonderfully did God open the minds and hearts
of English Christian- t- Bee the utility of the work, and
to sympathize in my undertaking, when I had almost
said, My father and my mother had forsaken me ; then
the Lord took me up.
And now I sing,
" I love the Lord, because lie hath heard my voice
and my supplication, because He hath inclined His ear
unto me ; therefore icill I call upon Hun as long as
COLONEL PHAYRE'S REPORT THE TABERNACLE IN THE
I am in the mountain village of Baumuduc ; — a chief
enters in high spirits.
" We 've seen the Perdo ! the Perdo ! "
"Well, what did he say?"
" Oh, he's God's Commissioner!" — rubbing his hands
— "he's God's Commissioner !"
" Why, how do you know ? "
" Oh, he shook hands with the children I I know he
loves us !"
The Commissioner of Pegu had just made Tounghoo
a visit, and attended the Paku Association. He gave
his hand to every one, old and young, and would even
stop his great horse, and reach down for the wee babies
which the mothers held up, by which he greatly won
the confidence of the Karens. They were much de-
lighted with his kind acts in helping them to teak
for their chapels, and in appointing for them their own
magistrates. In many other ways he also won for him-
self golden tablets in their memories.
Mountain is here piled over mountain, but after two
280 COLONEL PHAYRE.
days we espied an opening leading to what appeared to
be an old inhabited country, with a pinnacle some six
hundred feet high, looming up before us perpendicularly,
crested with a cluster of gigantic bamboos. Just under
this cluster, upon one side of the summit, stretched the
tabernacle along the ridge; a most picturesque sight,
but I think I was full three hours in reaching the place
after the scene burst upon us. News had gone before,
and on reaching the base of the pinnacle, the path was
bordered on either side by disciples all the way to the
door of the chapel, waiting to hail the Commissioner as
Colonel Phayre remained five days, attending every
sen-ice, and listening to all the speeches, which were
partially interpreted to him as they were spoken. He
gave us resolutions and speeches on educational pur-
suits, on supporting the schools, on caring for teachers,
— true Missionary orations, equal to any in London or
Boston. Sgaus, Pakus, Mauniepagas, Mopagas, Bghais,
and Pant-Bghais, also addressed the assembly, and the
scene was perfectly exhilarating. One esteemed deacon
rose to speak in a soiled dress, when another told him
to sit down, and let the clean folks talk, but generally
there was an evident striving to be tidy and respectable.
Each village had its booth encircling the great tabernacle,
so that I fancied myself in the feast of tabernacles
among; the cedars of Lebanon.
After our Association closed, we made an excursion
over the top of the mountain, down to sweet "Wathako —
a charming spot in a basin of the mountain, where we
BETEL-NUT TREES. 281
found a new teak chapel, very neatly built as far as it
was completed, which had already cost the little church
a thousand rupees. The one in the village where the
Association met had cost them fifteen hundred rupees,
all paid by themselves.
The village was swept clean, and we all went into the
old chapel and had a pic-nic. Everything looked civi-
lized and advancing, and the children were well trained
Encircling this village in the mountains were groves
of many hundred betel-nut trees. A betel or Areca-nut
grove is one of the most agreeable objects the eye rests
on in Burmah. Imagine two hundred trees with trunks
as large as hop-poles, forty feet high, without a single
branch or leaf except at top, the fronds, of the
freshest green, then floating out in loveliness and grace,
while the whole ground is made a chess-board of tiny
brooks to water the trees.
It was at this place that they had made an attempt
to overcome two boys, when the Gospel was first preached
there. One man entreated Pwapau to remain, and
declared he himself would become his pupil whether
others did or not. But the young men began to come
in, and he soon had a school of forty scholars. After
awhile, the father of two of the lads sent to call them
home, to keep a feast to the nats. The boys sternly
refused to go, or to perform any more heathen rites.
The next day over came the men of the village, thirty
or forty, stoutly armed, and surrounded the school-house.
One of the boys was caught, and compelled to march off
282 commissioner's report.
to the feast ; but the other, Talaoo, leaped out of the
back of the house, dashed into the jungle, and escaped.
This young man made a glowing speech on the Bible at
the Association, and the chief who led the armed band
was there too, and made a speech. He is now a deacon
of the church.
The following is the Commissioner's Report : —
" To Cecil Beadon, Esquire,
" Secretary to the Government of India,
" 1. Having lately returned to the station of Toung-
hoo, from a Bhort tour among the Karen mountain
tribes dwelling to the east of the Sit tang river, I have
the honour to submit, for the information of His
Excellency the Governor- General in Council, a brief
report of what I have observed among that interesting
race of people.
" 2. The mountainous country of the Tounghoo dis-
trict, in which the Karen tribes reside, extends over an
area of about two thousand square miles. It is bounded
by the line of the British frontier, with Burmah on the
north, along the parallel of 1.9° 29' north latitude, on
the south by the river Yonkthwa, which divides it from
the Martaban province, on the east by the country of
the independent Red Karens, and on the west by the
lowlands skirting the Sittang river. Within the above
tract of country dwell the several tribes distinguished
by the Burmese under the general name of Karen.
commissioner's report. 283
These tribes, though acknowledging a relationship to
each other in race, yet bear separate distinctive names
for themselves. Their dialects, in some instances, differ
from each other, so as to render communication be-
tween the tribes nearly as difficult as if the languages
were altogether distinct. The following are the names
of the several tribes or clans within the above tract
of country : —
" 1. Paku. 2. Mauniepaga. 3. Bghai, divided into
two sections. 4. Wewau. 5. Sgau. 6. Mopaga, and
one or two more not yet satisfactorily ascertained.
"3. It is impossible to give an accurate return of the
numbers of these people, but they may be stated gene-
rally to be about fifty thousand, of whom more than
twenty thousand souls are either professed Christians or
under Christian instruction and influence. They are
scattered over mountains which rise five thousand feet
above the sea. Their villages seldom contain more than
thirty or forty houses. Their cultivation, like that of
all the Indo-Chinese mountaineers, is carried on, not by
terracing the hills, but by cutting down the forest on
the mountain sides, burning the whole mass of timber
and grass, and then sowing the seed in the ground
among the ashes.
" As the next rain washes away the fertile vegetable
soil, a crop cannot again be raised on the same spot
for some ten or fifteen years. Each village, there-
fore, requires a wide extent of mountain land in order
to have a rotation of cultivatable spots. This method of
cultivation acts as a barrier to the progress of the
284 commissioner's report.
people, since they are engaged in a constant struggle
against the forest.
" 4. Up to the year 1853, the several tribes, and it
may even be said the different villages of the same tribe,
lived in a state of enmity and actual warfare with each
other. By open force or by stealthy manoeuvre, they
would capture women and children, and sell them as
slaves to other tribes ; while they generally put to death
all grown-up men who fell into their power. These pre-
datory habits still exist, more or less, among those tribes
who have not accepted Christianity.
" 5. In my annual administration report I have nar-
rated how, by the unwearied labours of the Rev. Dr. and
Mrs. Mason, of San Qnala, ami other Christian Karen
teachers from the Tenasserim provinces, Christianity
has been introduced among these tribes ; how their lan-
guages have been mastered and reduced to writing, and
how religion and education have simultaneously wrought
a vast change in the habits, the feelings, and the hearts
of these wild mountaineers.
" 6. The Government has been pleased in past years
to make grants of money to Dr. and Mrs. Mason for the
translation of books, and for the building of the school
for Karen females at Tounghoo. Having now been pre-
sent at the meeting in a central mountain village of a
considerable number of people from all the tribes — an
annual gathering held to recount their past proceedings,
to compare their progress, and to animate each other to
future effort — having witnessed this deeply-interesting
meeting, I deem it my duty to report, for the informa-
CLAN SYSTEM. 285
tion of his Excellency the Governor- General in Council,
the result so far of the work which has been going on
among these tribes.
" 7. Their educational institutions are closely con-
nected with their village or clan system. Each village
community constitutes a church or congregation in
itself. Among the Sgau, Mauniepaga, Paku, and We-
wau tribes, there are fifty-eight stations or churches.
At each village there is a teacher and a school. The
teachers are generally young men of the tribe who have
been selected and instructed under the care of the Rev.
Dr. Mason. The village teacher is not in all cases an
ordained Minister, but he it is who conducts the public
worship, and is also the schoolmaster. In each village
a church is erected, and the school is held in the same
building. At those villages which I have visited, these
mountain places of worship were neat wooden buildings,
with a house adjoining for the Minister or Teacher. All
are built at the expense of the people, and the Teacher is
entirely supported by the same means. I need hardly
add, that it is a completely voluntary system. A bam-
boo fence, put round the church and the Teacher's or
Minister's dwelling, separates them from the rest of the
" 8. Among the other tribes, namely, the Bghai and
Mopaga, there are sixty-two stations, or parishes, as
they may be termed, which I am informed are provided
for in every respect as above described.
" 9. In January, 1859, the Paku Association of all
the churches belonging to that and some adjoining tribes
2S6 A KAREN MEETING.
held a meeting, at which I was present. It was at a
village named Baugalay, situated on a fine commanding
position, at some three thousand feet elevation, with
forest-clad mountains all round. There were about
seven hundred or eight hundred people present, men,
women, and children. The Rev. Dr. Mason, with
several Karen Ministers and Teachers, occupied a central
platform of bamboos, slightly raised above the ground.
Around the platform, under the shade of a temporary
shed of bamboo, were the Karens, seated according to
their tribes and families, clad in their picturesque
national dress, and with intelligence and deep interest
in the objects for which they had met beaming in their
" 10. The business of the meeting commenced with a
hymn and with prayer, both in the Karen language.
The Karens have naturally a taste for melody, and the
soft sounds of their language are well adapted to vocal
music. Several of the young Karen Ministers and
Teachers successively addressed the assembly in earnest
language, exhorting the people to make increased exer-
tions to educate their children, to support religion, to
procure Bibles, and to be careful of them when they had
them. One read a paper containing a brief account of
the illness and death of a brother pastor, who had lately
died. Several of the chiefs also briefly addressed the
meeting, exhorting the people. Finally, it was an-
nounced that the Associated Churches had subscribed
over five hundred rupees towards the support of the
central schools at the town of Tounghoo, where both
A WONDERFUL SIGHT. 287
boys and girls are educated more highly than can be
done in the village schools. They are trained as
teachers for the other schools.
" 11. It was a wonderful sight thus to behold in the
midst of an assembly of tribes so lately savage, and with-
out written language, the evidence of a people appreciat-
ing the benefit of religion and of education, supporting
pastors and schools, listening to speeches on social im-
provement and religious duties, delivered by men of their
own race in their own tongue, abandoning their evil
habits and their cruel wars, and living as quiet, indus-
trious mountaineers, anxious for improvement. I was
surprised at the youth of some of the teachers, and
more at the respect and attention shown them by many
of the chiefs. This is the rather remarkable, as we
might almost have looked for jealousy from the latter
at their own influence being impaired. It is not so,
however. Dr. Mason has found, as was to be expected,
that young people were more readily impressed with new
ideas than those advanced in life, and has employed
young men as teachers, while their education ensures
them respect and influence among both chiefs and
"12. Though the people support their village teachers
and schools, and will, and do, also support those youths
who go to study at the Normal School in town, yet it is
beyond their means to defray all the expenses of the
latter institution. I was present at an examination of
the Female Institute at Tounghoo, by Mrs. Mason.
Fifty were present. They appeared to acquit them-
288 WOMEN TEACHERS.
selves creditably in geography, arithmetic, and other
branches of knowledge. To show what a change educa-
tion has wrought in the opinions of these people gene-
rally, I may mention that, in the absence of regular
teachers in the more remote villages, some of the chiefs
have applied for young women from the Institute to
instruct the children of their tribe. This fact, showing
a disregard for their previous prejudices — for they here-
tofore considered women only as useful drudges to 'the
lords "t" creation' — evinces the wonderful change effected
in their habits of thought.
" l.'i. I have entered into these details of the pro-
gress made among these tribes, in order to lay clearly
before the Governor-General in Council my reasons for
making application for further grants towards support-
ing and extending education among them. On this
subject I beg to annex copies of two letters to my
address, one from Mrs. Mason, dated the loth of
January, 1859, and one from the Rev. Dr. Mason,
dated the 21st. Both ask for assistance for the Normal
School for Karen young men, established at the town of
" 14. Hitherto the Government has contributed as
follows towards education among the mountain Karen
tribes : two thousand rupees for the translation and
printing of useful works in the Bghai and Manniepaga
dialects, and fourteen hundred rupees for books, appa-
ratus, &c, for the Karen Female Institute ; a grant of
land at Tounghoo has also been made for erecting the
" 15. With reference to the present application by
Dr. and Mrs. Mason, I beg earnestly to recommend that
the Honourable the President in Council will be pleased
to sanction a grant toward the Young Men's Normal
School, — a school which is to fulfil the important object
of furnishing instructors to the various tribes scattered
over the mountains. The great importance of aiding
the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Mason in affording these young
men a liberal education, through whose agency these
tribes may be raised from the depths of ignorance and
barbarism to hold hereafter, it is hoped, a prominent
place among Asiatic races, the great importance of
aiding in this noble object, requires not a word from
me to recommend it, I shall content myself, there-
fore, with stating that many tribes still remain to be
recovered from barbarism, and with recommending as
follows : —
• " 1st. That the sum of three thousand rupees be
granted towards the building of a school-house for the
Karen young men at Tounghoo. This school is pro-
posed to be of brick, and one hundred pupils are to be
" 2nd. That I be authorized to procure for the said
school the following instruments : —
" 1. A telescope, on stand, of sufficient power to
observe the eclipse of Jupiter's satellites.
" 2. A sextant and artificial horizon.
" 3. A pair of globes, one foot in diameter.
" 4. A prismatic compass and chain, complete.
" 5. A set of school maps.
290 A TIME OF NEED.
" I have not the means of making an estimate of the
expense that will be incurred in procuring instruments,
but I believe that twelve hundred rupees will be the
" I have the honour to be, Sir,
" Your most obedient servant,
" A. P. Phayre.
" February 3rd, 1859."
I have felt very thankful to our Commissioner for
writing this report, as it reaches a class of men who
seldom or never read Missionary publications.
Colonel Phayre, too, being Agent to the Gover-
nor-General of India and for Her Majesty, can
speak with a power which no other person can wield in
It is a day or two before the Bghai Association. I
am distressed and sad. I cannot go out to my husband
— have no money to pay the workmen — the Chinaman
is urgent for wages — doors and windows half done — I
seek to the Lord : " Oh Lord, may I go to the Bghai
mountains ? If it please thee that I go, do thou gra-
ciously send me some money ; thou art the mighty God
I begin to prepare some cake to take up to my
husband, for I am sure I shall go.
It is morning ; the door opens, and a servant enters.
" A roll ma'am, from the General." He opens it out
on the table, counts two hundred and fifty rupees, and
hands a note. I read : —
general bell. 291
" My dear Mrs. Mason,
" I am very sorry for your having to leave so unex-
pectedly, as I have been planning to accompany you to
the school on the other side of the river, but must hope
for another meeting at some future time. Wishing you
and Dr. Mason every blessing and success in your under-
taking, with kindest regards,
" Believe me, yours, very sincerely,
" J. Bell.
" P. S. The two hundred and fifty rupees I send to
help on your work."
General Bell was commander of the British forces in
Burmah ; he has aided us to the amount of five hundred
rupees, and has often cheered us with his kind notes.
I regarded his help at this time as a special answer to
prayer. " Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only
doeth wondrous things!'
It was about a month after the excursion to the Paku
hills that I went up to the Bghai country, and wrote
from thence to my dear friend, Miss Webb.
" The vacation of my schools is now begun, and I am
enjoying rest on the very tip-top of the loftiest Bghai
mountains, writing on a divan of slender bamboos, raised
five or six feet above the ground. A line of brown
figures lies stretched on one side in their close Highland-
looking blankets — a very tableau of mummies, Israel-
itish enough to be brothers to the pyramid-builders.
Above us stretches a dome of the purest blue, while the
stars are looking right down into our faces.
292 THE KAREN TABERNACLE.
" Among the bambooa around us, are eight or ten
more Karens circling their camp fires ; aome with crim
son turbans and dark bordered tonics, grasping their
boar-tusked spears, with Long Mark Locks Btxeaming over
their shoulders. The torch lights, dimmering through
the feathery bamboos; make our pinnacle pavilion a
perfect Aihambra. The moon is just rising from under
the mountains, and sends up streams of silyer light ;
there again they come, softening, Boothing, stealing
around those dark shadowy forms, just as the light <>f
truth is dow stealing around the darl their hea-
then minds. From a dei p d the left is beard
the cry of the peacock, which arouses the fear that tigers
may be our near neighbours. Strange that these two
inhabitants of the jungle Bhould have Buch an affinity
for each other.
•• Pour days ago, upon a Bister pinnai lay
stretched before us one of the grandest views am
mountain grandeurs, We had be< o travelling two 'lays,
climbing ridge upon ridge and j"-ak upon peak, when
suddenly a erj of joy burst from our bearers, Ta Opo,
T I Ipo I' (the "1 All - ^claimed in one
i. 'Where? fan you Bee the village?' ' Br, er,'
X - the electrical reply Bhout lip to
lip. clear over the mountains
•• Truly it was a bewildering where beauties
new ainl wild Beemed t" meet the eye at every angle.
Just at our feet there opened out one of the wide Toung-
hoo farms, extending over hill and dale, just felled and
burned, ready for clearing. Th< strewed
THE KAREN TABERNACLE. 293
over every inch of ground, gave it the appearance of a
ripened corn-field, and contrasted strongly with the
lively verdure of the young foliage beyond, and this
again came into bold relief against the dark green of
the ancient forest, walled behind with purple pinnacles.
On the left loomed Mount Gazeko, far above his brethren.
He bears the reputation of having been conquered by a
famous mountain on the south, when he had his head
cleft asunder ; but now both repose in peace, surrounded
by Christian settlements.
" The cynosure of every eye was Mount Magadoo on
our right, on the very summit of which could be distinctly
seen a long colossal Tabernacle, which, being constructed
of split bamboos, glistened in the sunlight as if its walls
had been of brass, reminding one instantly, in its posi-
tion — encircled by hills — and by its colour, of Jeru-
salem's Temple. At our feet lay a narrow defile, the
beginning of that path which, now winding tortuously
across the glen, now around the base of the mountains,
now lost in a gorge, and now re-appearing, winds up,
up, up the long ascent to the Tabernacle.
" It was perhaps four o'clock when we espied the
scene of the great Convocation, and it was not until
after four hours of hard travelling that we neared the
place. We then found the path widened, and swept,
and lined on either side with young men and old men,
come to bear me on. The way was still over two
mountains, and very steep, but the Bghai Christians
would not for a moment leave their post. At length we
reached the last peak, and found the path crowded with
29 4> THE KAREN TABERNACLE.
women and children, each of whom was determined to
have a grasp of my hand. My pupils formed the fore-
ground, and went before as a body-guard, compelling
the crowd to file out right and left, while I walked
up until the throng became so dense, that the chief
of the village, fearing I should be smothered, came and
carried me away over their heads to the chapel, where I
took a stand on the steps, and shook hands with
about two thousand Abrahams and Sarahs, Deborahs,
and Dorcases, and their babies.
" The next morning all assembled in the Tabernacle,
which was one hundred and fifty feet long by seventy-
five broad, built right over the crest of the mountain,
which had been cut off one cubit in depth, to make
a level space for the pulpit, that being placed in the
centre, enclosed by a bamboo trellis, with a writing-
desk on one side, and a preaching-desk on the other,
around which were seated four ordained Karen preachers,
and about one hundred young preachers and school-
masters; my school-girls were arranged on the left
hand. It was the annual session of the Bghai Christian
Association, and one of the most interesting meetings
I ever attended. Committees were formed, and reso-
lutions passed, and speeches made, full of burning zeal,
ON THE STUDY OF THE BlBLE, AND ITS DISTRIBUTION,
on the support of the District Schools, on the im-
portance of holy living, on female education, and on
brethren settling their own difficulties.
" At the close of the last speech on the latter subject,
every one rose and pledged himself not to go to war
CHRISTIAN EESOLVES. 295
with his brother. Oh, the infinite power of the
Gospel of Christ ! To see one thousand clear-eyed,
high-browed, strong-armed men, who, from their child-
hood, had hated each other, kidnapped and speared
each other whenever they could, now exchanging the
clasp of peace, and publicly pledging themselves to help
and love their neighbours as themselves !
" When I looked over the dense mass of heads, and
saw at least three-fourths in clean new tunics, jackets,
and turbans, and the women, at least all the younger
portion, well dressed, I felt that a great and mighty
work had been done in the Bghai country since 1853.
Truly the deaf have heard the words of the BOOK, and
the eyes of the blind have seen out of obscurity ; they
also that erred in spirit have come to understanding, and
they that murmured have learned doctrine.
" The letters read from the churches of this Asso-
ciation showed that twenty- seven Bghai villages had
come over to Christianity within the year, had built
school-houses, supported schoolmasters, and established,
in the place of their mythical Mosha, the worship
of Jehovah : there are only forty-four heathen Bghai
villages remaining. The Mopagas are all brought in
except three villages, and ten new ones were numbered
this last year with the Paku Christian communities.
" At this assembly the chiefs and teachers enacted
three rules, which ought to be on every church door,
or, perhaps better, on every closet door.
" 1st. That they will not marry heathen companions.
" 2nd. That they will aid in supporting their teachers.
296 SONGS ON EARTH.
" 3rd. That they xclll do all they can to enlighten the
" The girls of the Institute were arranged along one
side of the platform, tastefully dressed in their own
costume, of their own manufacture ; and at the close
of the convocation they all rose and sung in Karen
that inspiring piece —
1 Hark ! ten thousand harps and voices
Sound the note of praise above :
Jesus reigns and heaven rejoices ;
Jesus reigns the God of love.'
" The effect was perfectly inspiring, and as the strains
of music floated away over the hills, and down the
glens, we could hear it echoed back from the neighbour-
bag pinnacles, as if choral voices were answering down
from the heavenly plains/'
THE MIGHTY HAND IN THE MOUNTAINS.
It is the last day of the Association upon the Karen
mountains. The moderator rises, and reads off fif-
teen names of schoolmistresses now ready for service,
and the congregation is informed that any who desire
a schoolmistress can apply to the Karen Board of
Managers at the close of the session. The girls pull
their turbans over their faces in bashful modesty, as
the eyes of the assembly fall admiringly on the seat
beside me. The Association adjourns ; a score of chiefs
crowd forward saying, —
" Give us a schoolmistress. Give us a schoolmistress."
Here is a report from the first Paku who went out, the
principal head-teacher in the school. The chief who
called her had been a notorious robber, and I felt afraid
to let her go.
" Teacheress, that chief will never become a Christian
if she does not go. Our young men have been there,
and no one can remain. If he gives his word, she
This the chiefs all agreed in, and I left it entirely
to her. Nau Tsah went, and God kept her, like
298 the teacher's letter.
Daniel in the lions' den. After some weeks she wrote
back : —
" My loved Teacheress,
" As God has given me a place, I strive to do His
work. After two days many left the school, and
returned to their play and work. When the chief
returned with the maps, I said, —
" ' Chief, I came here to instruct your children. Put
them into my hands.'
" ' I did put them into your hands,' he replied, ' but
they like to run about. They cannot sit still.'
" ' Chief,' I answered, ' give them into my hands
entirely, and if they do not learn, I will be responsible.'
Then the chief said, — ' It shall be as you say.' So
now there are twenty-nine learning very nicely, and
nineteen are new ones who never learned before. This
is God's power. Mama, I am a young girl : I have
many fears lest I should not do well. I entreat that
you will pray for me, that I may increase in wisdom and
" Nau Tsah."
Again she says, —
" Everything you taught us I tell to the people here,
to the women, and to the men also, if they ask me. I
am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Just as you
divided the classes and the time at the Institute, so I
do here, and read the Scriptures in the presence of all ;
but the young men on Sabbath did not come to worship.
Then I sent and entreated, and they came, but I saw
WORK A PRIVILEGE. 299
they had been asleep, so I said to them, — ' Brothers, is
it good to sleep on God's holy day ? Ought we not to
get strength for the soul from God's Word ? ' After
this all came to study the Bible in the school-house.
" Mama, dear, I am very happy. Pray that God's
Spirit may help me."
"When it was time for the next term at the Institute,
the chief heard of it, and immediately placed a guard
over my brave girl to keep her from leaving them !
Nau Tsah wrote to me that she could not get away, but
that all were so good to her, it made her weep, because
she was unworthy, and she knew God was there.
Finally, I had to send to the chief that if he did so,
the managers would not dare let him have another
schoolmistress. So he gave in, and, coming up to
Nau Tsah, he said, — " Teacheress, my people all love
you. Promise me you will go to no other village." She
promised ; then he appointed an escort to attend her
down, and as he bade her good by —
" Here, teacheress," he said, " here is a rupee, an
umbrella, and a dress. Don't forget us."
Nau Tsah burst into tears on telling me of it.
"Why," she said, "mama, God is too good to me : I
did'nt expect anything." All had gone out freely ?
asking nothing, expecting nothing, but feeling amply
paid in having the privilege of working, as they ex-
pressed it, in God's vineyard. Their mothers, too,
noble sister spirits, toiled day and night to spin and
weave their dresses, while they were teaching gra-
300 ONLY BELIEVE.
tuitously, because they felt they were doing it for
Christ. Surely for the sake of this work of love God
will establish this school.
The girls had made it a subject of prayer with me for
the whole year that God would open the hearts of the
chiefs to receive their services. Then all doors opened
at once, through the mountain region, at every point of
the compass, as if Jehovah had spoken : " Behold, and
see if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour
you out a blessing!" "I say unto you, All things
whatsoever ye_ shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall
" Mama," said a preacher's wife very eagerly, during
this Bghai Association, " shall not Nau Meu go to our
village ? I am so anxious to learn of her. Do compel
her to go."
" What shall I do ?" said Nau Meu, in a low tone, as
soon as she could speak to me alone. " They call me
"Don't you know who can tell you, Nau Meu V*
" Oh, yes, yes," she replied, and ' was soon out of
sight. The result showed with what spirit she left the
altar. Many villages had called her where she could
have had every comfort, but she turned from all to a
most filthy, repelling-looking people, in a Bghai village,
where she knew she must deny herself betel-nut, to them
a very great sacrifice, and many things to which she was
accustomed, and which it would be hard to do without.
The following are her letters to Mrs. Dalton, of Edinburgh,
and myself, from the jungles, translated literally : —
NAU MEU. 301
" Dear Friends who love the Karens,
" I, Nau Meu, one of the girl teachers, wish to say a
"I am now teaching in the Bghai country. I have
seventy pupils, and they are trying very hard to learn.
I can now speak their language, for which I thank God
exceedingly. They are all very kind to me, and I entreat
you will pray for me, that I may do them good.
The result was most satisfactory and cheering. The
chief soon came down with ten rupees for the school, for
which he had never given anything before. He came
with his men also, and cleared his portion of the ground,
the first and best of any village in the mountains. His
people, too, began to come in more tidy ; and when I
asked after Nau Meu, their eyes always glistened with
The result was what it often is in Christian lands :
Nau Meu soon had an offer of marriage from the
cleverest young man of the place, and the whole village
beset her to accept it !
The following is from the same teacher to Mrs.
Dalton : —
" I long greatly that God's kingdom may increase. I
will tell you a word of my country. It is now four
years since we first heard of the Eternal God, and
eighty-eight have become disciples in my village. When
302 KAREN CUSTOM.
we were in the hands of Satan, my elder brother had the
small-pox, and my uncle caught it of him, and another
person caught it of my uncle. This person then kid-
napped my uncle, as all the Karens used to do if they
caught a disease of any one. Then my uncle caused
persons to waylay my brother, and catch him, and
would have sold him to the Burmese, but my poor
mother wept continually, and at last borrowed money
enough to buy him back. She gave two gongs which
cost sixty rupees each, and a large one which cost two
hundred and fifty rupees.
" When my uncle became a disciple, he gave back the
large gong to my brother. My wicked uncle has
changed. He has built a house on the Girls' Place,
and we love each other much. The Tounghoo people,
who are not disciples, do after this manner continually,
and are very wicked. Now the school is dismissed that
we may all reap paddy, but all of us love the school
with a great love."
The following, in Karen, was sent in by the school-
mistresses of the Institute without any suggestion from
me, with a handsome suit of Karen clothes, asking if
they might give them to Captain D'Oyly when he was
leaving for Prome. It is translated literally : —
" To the Great Commissioner whom God Blesses.
" Dear Sir,
" Since you ruled over Tounghoo, it has pleased
you to help us poor Karen people, so that we rejoiced
THANKFUL HEABTS. SOS
greatly under your rule, and now, when we hear you are
going to another country, we feel that our hearts will go
after you exceedingly, even as the deer thirsts for the
" We pray that the great King of Heaven may bless
you during life, even as He blessed Mordecai and Queen
Esther. For this reason, we, poor people, before we
received the Eternal God's commands, knew nothing at
all of books. Now the English Commissioners have
come to Tounghoo, and a place has risen for us to
" This is God's great mercy, and we rejoice and praise
Him, and the name of Jesus Christ, continually."
I might tell many stories about the Mighty Hand
in the mountains, but I will stop for only one more.
One day a Bghai chief, who had not been baptized,
came down almost in a rage to know what had become
of his teacher. He had opened his village to books only
about three months before.
" Mama, has my teacher gone with teacher Mason V
he asked, with some appearance of impatience.
" Yes, brother, he has gone on a tour to the red
Karens, but he will be back, we hope, in two months."
" Two months ! I must have another."
" Suppose you take one of the girls, chief ? " I sug-
"A girl" he repeated, towering up in scorn, and I
could see every lip of his attendants curled with disdain.
" Oh, never mind," I answered, gently. " If you
304 i'll have her.
don't like, you needn't have one, but just come in and
hear them recite." Out of politeness, merely, he and
his men entered the school-room. I called up the prin-
cipal Bghai mistress to examine the school, briefly, in
reading Bs-hai, in the Bible, in arithmetic, and geogra-
phy. She was going over the large outline maps, and
the school intensely interested, when the chief rose and
walked along in a bending posture to the front of the
platform, followed by his men. All sat down in pro-
found respect, but very soon their eyes began to peer
open, as if they would roll out ; their hands fell down,
their mouths opened, and there they sat, their heads
stretched far forward. Finally, the chief said in a low
"I'll have that one — that one," pointing to the
mistress who was questioning the others.
"Er, er," all his men joined in. "We'll have that
one." Nan Lanui hid her face for shame, and the whole
school was on tiptoe. After some persuasion, Nau
Lanui ventured to go with them, and then came the real
triumph of knowledge, for every one of those young men
stepped forward, offering to carry something. One took
her slate, another her hymn-book, and even one grasped
her little basket of clothes, a thing those men could
not before have been hired to do, for with them nothing
is so defiling as to touch a woman's dress, and nothing
so degrading as to carry burdens for her.
However, all forgot these prejudices in their delight,
and hope of acquiring wisdom. The girls vied with one
another in helping them off ; for, as we did not like one
A SUCCESSFUL EXPERIMENT. 305
to go alone, they offered to support two, and two went
with them the same day fifteen or twenty miles into the
mountains, which is as much as a hundred in a country
of roads and carriages. On the way they met another
troop on a similar errand.
" We've got the best teacher there," the men called
" Then she shall go with us," the others retorted, and
they came near, bearing her off in spite of them.
" Let her alone ! Go to the school and get another.
Haven't you got feet?" shouted the men with their
prize, and pushed on.
The adventure proved an entire success, and this girl
has ever since been regarded as a kind of sybil or oracle
among the tribe.
The plan of the school in Tounghoo was an experi-
ment, but no experiment ever succeeded more perfectly,
for it has united these wild clans under one banner, and
awakened a spirit of enterprise and energy, such as
they never before felt or knew. The Karen Education
Society at first numbered only sixty chiefs, but it has
increased to two hundred and sixty, and thus far they
have been more than faithful to their promise. Since
the school was opened in 1857, the chiefs have contri-
buted 10,000 rupees.
In Burmah, no appeal to self-interest will move to
action, if it touches the native sense of honour. The
poorest Burman will walk off and forego his supper
rather than endure a single word wounding to his self-
respect. So with Karens. You appeal in vain to their
306 THE KAREN DELPHI.
sense of fear or love of gain. Say to them, — " If you do
not thus, the Commissioner will not help you," and they
would look down from their soul-pinnacles with unut
terable contempt. But just say, " God expects this of
Karens," or, "Your brothers are watching your feet," and
you touch a chord that will vibrate through every glen
of Tounghoo. Therefore, in proposing a school to the
Mountain Chiefs of the land, I appealed to this innate
self-respect — simply telling them they would have the
honour before all the surrounding nations of educating
their women like the greatest nation in the world, and
they should have the honour of doing it themselves in
institutions of their own, and under managers of their
own, only Government would help them to begin ; and
above all it would please YUAH.
And now this Karen Female Institute will be che-
rished as the Delphi of their tribe-, to which they will
continually resort, and from which they cannot return
witlmut carrying to their mountain homes some glim-
merings from the light of science, and a clearer know-
ledge of the Time God.
SETTLING A COLONY — KAREN RESOURCES.
I knew it would be in vain to build a school-house,
unless the Karens would some of them live near enough
to protect it, for the heathen would carry off every board,
one by one. Besides, a girls school could not be main-
tained without protectors, and these must be Karen
protectors. Karens could not live there without support,
and they could not find support without land. To
settle only two or three families around us would be
useless. So I applied to Government for a tract of
land on which experiments might be made, a tract large
enough for all the tribes near Tounghoo.
There were other good reasons for trying to bring the
Karens down to the plains. Their mode of cultivating
the hill land, as described in Colonel Phayre's letter,
leads them to be always migrating, so that it is very
difficult to keep up their mountain schools with any
regularity ; the same cause keeps them poor, and renders
it exceedingly difficult to support their families and
teachers. They have nothing against times of distress,
so that if there comes a drought, or if armies of rats
destroy their rice-fields, numbers die of starvation.
310 INSTRUCTION NEEDED.
Considering all this, Mr. Mason thought no one could
do a greater good to the tribes in Tounghoo, than help
them to begin lowland paddy cultivation.
The Karens want instruction. Their forests abouDd
in valuables, but they know not how to make them
available. In the first place, they want good rice land on
the plains, and to be taught the cultivation of cotton.
Colonel Phayre once sent the South American cotton
seed to experiment with in Tounghoo. I left before
hearing the full result of that experiment, but I heard
that planted around the schools, on rich soil, it grew too
luxuriously, and yielded only a small basket, but what
there was of it had long silken fibres, and the seeds fell
out at once, to the great delight and amazement of the
Karens. I imagine that soil was too rich, as it went
mostly to leaves, and on the sand hills it seemed to lack
nourishment, but probably if the forest were cleared half
a mile inland, cotton would grow well in Tounghoo.
The Karens would enter into its cultivation, I think,
with spirit, and this would encourage the rice cultivators.
But they would need to have instruction at first in adapt-
ing the soils, in seeking out suitable localities, and to
have a machine for cleaning the cotton. Secondly, they
require instruction in working iron and lead. They
have both in Tounghoo, and loadstone. They would soon
learn to make plows and other agricultural implements
for themselves, axes, and carpenter's tools
They need instruction in preparing leather and mak-
ing good strong shoes, which their people would buy all
over the hills. Pegged shoes, if introduced, might be
VALUABLE WOODS. 311
the means of raising up large villages in the mountains,
for the manufacture of pegs alone, as I have seen in
Their buffalo and cow hides, deer and goat skins,
might then be of use to them. Preparing leather would
bring them to work their limestone, and their rock salt,
which is also found in the hills of Tounghoo. Valuable
barks, nuts, oils, and catechu trees, abound likewise,
and careya, and mangrove trees, on the coast would
supply tannic acid.
They need masters in wood-work of all kinds ; their
mountains abound in beautiful woods, and they might
learn to make wooden wares for themselves, instead of
using bamboo troughs. Their red wood is almost equal
to mahogany, the hopea, and a kind of turminalia, which
they call "bitter wood," because the teredos will not eat
it, might be very useful for drawers and chests. They
have sassafras, too, and ebony is so abundant, they make
their great pestles, six feet long, of it. They have
matchlock-wood and lance wood, and a soft white wood
that might answer instead of pine. Wicker-work they
would excel in, and the ratans wreathe their gorges all
through the mountains. I have seen them thirty feet
in length. Their forests, too, abound in cordage plants,
and they already understand a curious kind of rope-
braiding in Tounghoo, that far excels that made by any
of the other tribes, and they braid thatch in a very
superior style, which lasts twice as long as Burman
If they could have instruction from a practical bota-
312 NATIVE PRODUCTS.
nist, their forests would yield medicinal plants largely
for export. They have abundance of gamboge liquid
amber, the camphor plant, (Bluinea.) a kind of native
cinnamon, ipecacuanha, manna, clove, cassia hark, citron,
bhang, nux vomica, castor-oil, cutch, turmeric, betel-
Leaf, leea, sessamum, cardamom, ivy, sarsaparilla, heart-
seek, garlic, and gum-arabic — not the true, hut the gum
of the cashes tree, which is quite as good. The true arrow-
root, (Maranta,) ah", is beginning to be cultivated, and
might be to any • • x r t ■ 1 1 1 . They have a pine from which
tar and pitch mighl be manufactured in abundance, and
the wood oil, I am rare, might be put to some economic
purpose, besides supplying torcl
They have the best of dye-plants, the cashew, mela
stoma, shoe flower, ebon} . and phj sic-nnt, for black dye ;
ruellia and asclepias, for blue; sappan, tamarind, mo-
rinda, log-wood, for red; safflower, gamboge, butea,
turmeric, and jack, for yellow; and they make a line
green with turmeric and soap acacia. They have foni
or five indigenous trees producing excellent varnish, but
all goes to waste.
(If you ask how I know these things are there, I
answer, my husband says bo, and he's my Cyclopedia,
See his book on " Btrmaii." Phinney, Blakeman, &
Mason, New York.)
To redeem these riches of earth, or to elevate the
Karens, it needs the help of Government, and the help
o\' philanthropists. Especially are these aids and en-
couragements needed for the women of these nations,
for does not woman educate the farmer, the soldier, the
HUNTING LAND. SI 3
teacher, and the Legislature ? When the Prince of Wales
was in New York, I presented the subject to him, parti-
cularly in regard to Female Education in India, taking
the opportunity to give some particulars, through Colonel
Bruce, concerning the Karens, and the Girls' School in
Tounghoo. The Prince answered very kindly, and I
hope may not wholly forget either the school, or those
who have so kindly aided us.
An application being made for land to the Duputy
Commissioner of Toun«;hoo, he wrote back the following
note, in the latter part of 1857 : —
" My dear Mrs. Mason,
" If your mountain friends will only clear the land
and cultivate it, I will give them as much as their
" George D'Oyly."
Captain D'Oyly gave orders that the Burman Thugyee
should accompany me and the Karen chiefs, to select
the land, and that he should give them good fields in
the vicinity of the Institution, and on the strength of
this we started together.
Fancy us mounted on two great elephants — I on one,
and the Burman head-man on the other, each of us
with a score of followers. The Nah Khan and several
Karen chiefs are of the party, and two of our best assist-
ants are behind.
On we go, over logs and bogs — now on a wide open
prairie, the sun burning into our very brains, and anon
the elephant sinks up to his body in a broad marsh,
sinks, sinks, so fearfully, that our hair almost stands on
end, lest we should never again emerge.
" There, Thugyee, there 's a nice field. It stretches
up a long way, too."
" Yes, but this I gave yesterday to a couple of Bur-
We wander — farther and farther.
"Come, Thugyee. Here are fields."
" But the Burmese yonder, pointing half a mile off,
will want this to enlarge their fields."
" And this '." Cumin- to another tract of wild land
that might have been cultivated thirty years before.
" Oh, this is grass land. I couldn't give this to the
"Karens want grass land as well as Burmese, and
the Commissioner said that you must give them good
So we travel, two whole days, over an area of nearly
fifty miles, always receiving the same answers. At last
I stopped short.
" Thugyee, listen ! The Commissioner ordered you
to give the Karens land — good land — and near the
school. We've travelled long enough. Give us the
Upon this the Thugyee rode off hastily to a long
jungle skirting the river.
"There," he says, "take this."
" This ! " the Karens exclaimed in dismay. " We
can never clear off these great trees. It will be useless.
KAKENS CAST DOWN. 315
Why cannot he give us grass land as he does the
" Wait brothers, be patient — see what rich soil. Look
at those paddy stalks as large as your little fingers,"
pointing to the fields adjoining. " Let us get this if we
can, for he does not mean to give you anything." Then
turning to the Burman, —
" We can have this, you say ; but then we must have
the whole jungle, as far as we choose."
" Yes, except where the Burmese have commenced
There were many obstacles to the cultivation of this
tract, which were almost insurmountable to the Karens.
The strip of good land was very narrow, the trees thick
and large, the Burmese fields close adjoining, and there
was a public road running through all.
We could only persuade fourteen men to attempt the
business the first year. They succeeded in clearing and
planting each a pretty good piece of land, and with great
pride they watched it. One morning, when the rice was
about two feet high, they all came running down to me
with fear and wretchedness depicted on every face.
"What is the matter?" I inquired.
" Gone ! gone !"
"What is gone V
" The paddy. The Burman bufFalos have destroyed
" How did it happen ? Had you not good fences ?"
" Yes, we had fenced every lot carefully ; they must
have been turned in." None but those who have £one
316 PRESH COURAGE.
through what we have in securing land — in persuading
wild men to make an attempt at civilization, and in
supporting them while doing it — can understand our
grief on that morning. The men went to the Thugyee
" You must catch the buffalos," he told them. So
they watched day and night, and at last succeeded in
catching two. They received for all their loss five
Upon this they were utterly discouraged, and all but
two returned to the jungles.
So the matter rested for several months, when the
Thugyee came to me to know if the Karens were going
to cultivate that land any more. " The Karens cannot
cultivate lowland," he said ; " the Burmese can, and it
must not lie waste."
"We told him the land would be occupied, when he
left with a very dark brow.
I called the Karen women and explained to them how
fruitless all my efforts for a permanent school would
prove without proteet'>rs, and endeavoured to arouse
their philanthrophy and love for Christ's kingdom. It
was not, however, until after several days of prayer and
exhortation that they could be persuaded to go up and
live in the rice fields. Finally, six families volunteered,
and I engaged to advance them rice for six months. To
cheer and strengthen them I went up every week, helped
them to plan the little settlement, and encouraged them
to persevere. The first week on my reaching the camp,
they all came out and grasped my hand with tears, so
LOAN FOR BUFFALOS. 817
like my own children had they become. I found them
all huddled into one circular hut, built of brush and
reeds, and a little bedroom for the night-guard in the
top of a tree.
The second week they gave me a happy surprise and
led me up into a neat little chapel, where a boy teacher,
about fourteen, sat by a pretty bamboo table, surrounded
by twenty little children in school, learning to read.
The Commissioner had liberally invited the Karens
down to the plains, promising them land and protection.
This had greatly encouraged the chiefs, and they mus-
tered several new families for the work. How should
they get buffalos was the next question, and two or
three resolved to sell their fruit gardens. I was one day
speaking of their great want to Colonel Phayre, when
he said, —
" I '11 make them a loan for buffalos."
"You will?" I asked in surprise. "Are you in
earnest ? Would you dare to trust them ?"
" I will," he answered with a quiet smile, and to our
great joy ordered the loans, sending this kind note to
Mr. Mason : —
" I request you will have the goodness to inform the
Karens, to whom this advance is made, that I do not
name any particular time for repayment of this advance,
but that I expect them to repay when, with ordinary
exertion, they can do so. They have my best wishes."
This, too, we recognised as a special answer to prayer,
for which we thanked God and took courage.
SECURING FISH PONDS — SKETCHES OF KAREN
CHARACTER — LITTLE FRANK.
" Halloo ! there, you Karen dog. Pay me half a
rupee ! "
Seeing the women and children running, I inquired
what had happened, but before they could answer, a
stout, hard-looking Burman came leading a Karen up to
the chapel, declaring he would take him to court. On
inquiring I found one of the new settlers had stepped
into a pond, and with hi.s axe had caught two fishes for
his supper. The pond had been rented by the Burman,
and there was no way but to pay the fine, which I did,
for the offender was very poor and hungry.
On the east side of the Sittang river there are fifteen
or more large ponds full of fish. These are annually
rented out by the Government, and bring in a little
revenue. But the poor always suffered on account of
the heavy fees demanded by these pond-holders.
One time when I was in the jungles, a villager com-
plained to me, and begged me to intercede for him.
They had made a small trap by the shore, trying to get
a few fish for their suppers. The goung came round,
THE PONDS. 319
ordered it to be destroyed, abused the poor man, and
imposed a fine, which forced him to sell his pig to pay.
All this was contrary to Government rules, for Colonel
Phayre, on purpose to protect the poor, had made a pro-
vision, that no river or creek should be taxed at all, or
hand-nets anywhere, or any kind of small traps. More-
over, the ponds were to be rented to the settlers around
them. But this was all Greek to Captain Rock, then
Deputy Assistant in charge; consequently, I sent up the
following petition : —
" As the present monopoly of one man over all the
ponds in Kannee makes it exceedingly hard for the
Karens here to procure any fish for daily use, I would
beg the privilege of taking one pond for them in the
immediate vicinity of the Karen paddy field, during this
The answer was contrary to the printed law before
him, — that Government could recognise but one pond-
owner in that region.
" Apply for the whole," says Mr. Mason, which I did
at once, for two hundred rupees, the same as the Bur-
mese had paid. No excuse could be found for refusing,
so I took them for one year. This caused universal joy
among the poor of all classes : great numbers were
about to enter into the fish trade, when the cholera
scattered them. I had intended to let the Burmans
have one-half, but I sold thirteen ponds to the Burmese
for just what I gave, reserving two of the best free for
820 THE THIEF.
the Karens and other friendless persons. So the Karens,
Shans, and poor Burmese, were liberated from then-
oppressors, and supplied with fish in abundance for tin-
taking. The ponds and the buffalos had a most happy
effect, and many now came down to join the colony,
until my hands were doubly full.
" Mama, will you buy me a pair of buffalos V " And
me ?" " And me ?" came from twenty at once.
But who was competent to buy, was the perplexing
question. The Karens were no judges of buffalos — the
Burmese would either cheat or rob them. Just at this
time a Shan was introduced to our camp, an old herds-
man. So he was sent out with the bravest Karen there,
to make the purchase of one pair of buffalos and a cart.
On returning, the Karen only came to me with the
change. At that moment the Shan made a motion
behind the Karen, indicating that all was not right, but
on questioning, I could obtain no satisfaction. Imme-
diately I called two Karens, and sent secretly to inquire
the sum for which the buffalos had been sold. My
messengers had ten miles to walk ; but I felt sure there
was dishonesty, and as we had many buffalos to buy, it
was an important matter. The Paku member of our
Board also came to my aid, and so cross-questioned the
two during the night, that he drew forth a confession,
and early next morning sent Thatug to me with ten
The thief came on his knees begging forgiveness, and
promising solemnly to steal no more. We forgave him,
but his history was a sad one.
His place flourished above all others. He was far
more industrious, and kept his garden in better order,
and was always ready to help anywhere and everywhere ;
besides, he was so fearless, he was really a great acquisi-
tion to our new settlement. But one day I was called
to see his wife, who lay nearly senseless, the blood
streaming down her face. He had struck her with a
club, and nearly killed her, then fled to the woods. Upon
this I learned that he was a murderer, feared by all. He
had speared a man in his rage, and had sold one wife
to the Red Karens, and whether she was living or dead
no one knew. I immediately gave notice to the Acting
Commissioner, who sent his peons, and cast him into
prison. Some thought it served him right ; others beheld
with trembling a brother of the church in gaol ; and,
altogether, I scarcely knew what to do. It was true he
had sold his wife and killed a neighbour, but then it was
before he heard God's commands. Others in the church
had been either robbers or kidnappers. If God and the
church had forgiven him, those things ought not to
influence in this case. These thoughts, with his humble
pleading, troubled me not a little, for he made no plea,
only, " Lord, I am a great sinner ; I have an awful
temper; I cannot govern it : it will send me to hell. Oh,
God ! oh, God ! "
"Who maketh thee to differ?" whispered a still,
small voice within. Mr. Mason was in the hills, but I
could not rest ; so I sent to the gaol the same night,
paid his fine of fifteen rupees, and set him at liberty.
He came to me directly, fell upon his face, and implored
me not to send him off from the place. We took his
garden for the fine, and gave him five rupees, with a
new piece of land outside the school lot, to begin anew.
But one morning the neighbours came leading Thatug
again. They had suspected him, had set a watch, and
caught him stealing young trees and plantains from his
old garden. So then it was the general voice that he
must be expelled ; and he was, on condition, however,
that if he conducted himself well for one year, he should
again be restored. For a time he tried and did pretty
well, but before six months were gone, he was caught
again stealing a goat in the night, which he carried to a
poor man, and they killed and ate it together. So he
was brought down once more, led by a cord around his
body, and the man who ate with him was brought as a
"Do you not know the partaker is as bad as the
thief?" I asked.
" No, we never heard of such a law."
" Well, if they take him up to court, he would just
witness himself into gaol with Thatug, and I don't see
why he should not be there too."
" No, no," they cried, " he is not a bad man, and
never did anything of the kind before. He shall not go
up at all." The case ended in giving Thatug six
months of hard labour on the roads ; yet, strange as it
may seem, I believe this man will be found at last with
the forgiven thief in paradise ! He has gone back now
to the new settlement a changed man, and will yet, I
have no doubt, be one of the most upright and faithful.
THE TWO WIVES. 323
I assure you, reader, we do not know the strength of
temptation till we encounter it under the same circum-
stances with our brothers.
I had another hard thing to meet in those days.
Nah Khan Qualay, the man who had been first to take
up the work and help it forward, on whom I relied more
than upon all the other chiefs together, came, when we
were assembled, dressed in sackcloth, standing under the
house pleading for forgiveness. In amazement, I in-
quired what that meant, when he confessed that he had
two wives ! It appeared that his real wife was very
sickly, and that she had no children. He saw a pretty
slave girl and bought her, provided for her and all her
family at a distance from his home, and had joined the
church without letting this fact be known. Some did
know of it, but it is a rule with Karens not to inform.
He had been a member of the church three years, and
all this time had been transgressing the law of God.
Seldom did I ever suffer such mental distress as then.
For three days I could only groan. The slave wife had
now a little son, and, of course, the truth must be told,
so that all confidence in the man's integrity vanished
like the dew. The report spread far and wide over the
hills, and hundreds came down to see the humility of
the greatest Khan in the jungles. Qualay sat on the
ground in soiled garments, the very picture of despair,
confessing to every one, and begging forgiveness of every
one, offering, too, to put away the young wife, and never
look on his boy again.
I could not help pitying the culprit, whose great
324 THE NAH KHAN.
desire was to have an heir to his title and his property.
Still such deception and transgression could not be
lightly passed by. He had built himself a handsome
house on the girls' place, so as to hear petty causes
there, which would have been a convenience to the Bghai
tribes, and have tended to bring the heathen Karens
around us where they could hear of God, and see the
schools. I was hoping for great good from this arrange-
ment ; but this sudden disclosure dashed all our plans,
and crushed all our hopes.
Mr. Mason and San Quala both agreed that he must
be excluded from the church, and then came the ques-
tion, Could he have a court-house on the school land ? I
referred the case to the settlers, and told them they
must decide the matter, simply exhorting them to do it
in the fear of God. Their decision was, that his house
must be pulled down and removed from the school land,
and that he should no more visit the place until restored
to the church. I had not quite expected this, and for
a week my strength left me. It seemed to me impos-
sible to go on in our arduous work without the aid of
The Board of Managers all felt so too, and had every-
thing at stake, but the law of God glittered above their
heads like a two-edged sword, and they dared not shield
the Chief. He is the greatest man, they said. Every
eye is on us. Nobody believes we shall dare speak out.
Finally, I suggested that we call the Nah Khan, and
let him judge himself. We did so in the presence of all
the Board of Managers and the principal chiefs. We
laid the whole case before him, the injury he had done
the cause, the unhappy influence on the minds of all the
tribes coming and going, and cast the whole burden of
deciding the matter upon his own conscience. Then
appeared the true Christian shining out over all his
" I have laid a stone of stumbling," he said ; " I will
do all I can to remove it." This was his answer,
coming up from under the floor, for he utterly refused
to enter the chapel while the stain was upon him.
Immediately that man went to work with his own hands,
solitary and alone ; he took off the boards and the roof
from his house, the big tears dropping over all, which
so excited the commisseration of the crowd, that they
all stepped back in awe, except the principal chiefs,
who, with great deference, offered their aid. When they
got to the posts, the crowd was called, and in a few
hours the beautiful house that had cost months of
labour, and was a great ornament to our grounds, was
gone, and the Nah Khan, who had been as my brother,
had gone too.
Here, again, were visible the footsteps of the Almighty,
for instead of the people fainting, as I had feared, they
were ten times stronger than ever before, so that the
wildest Bghais came pouring down, having confidence
in the law of God. Singular, too, it was, a short time
after this, a large teak monastery, south of our school,
was burned down, and the lighted thatch falling on it, a
small house just below where this had stood was burned.
Had that building been there then, probably nothing
326 BUYING BUFFALOS.
could have saved the Institute, as the south wind
blows very strong. Truly, God is Almighty. I feel
happy to say the Nah Khan kept his promise, never
visited his boy, and only once or twice had it brought
to him. After two years of exclusion, he was restored
to the church, and now, having buried his poor invalid
wife, he has been lawfully married to the mother of his
boy. But I fear that boy will be to him an Absalom.
The next attempt at purchasing buffalos ended in
buying a sick one that died in two "lays, and another
old one that "would not draw." But perseverance !
nobody can tell what that will do! After a while the
Karens learned to trade better, and every day the buf-
falo regiment had to be paraded up before the Institute,
and I was obliged to go out and review it. What con-
stituted a good buffalo I had not the slightest idea,
except that it ought to have sound hoofs, a clean tongue,
and ears that "would stand." This I learned as they
did, by the sick one being minus all these good qualities.
Practice, 1 io\\ ever, makes perfect, BO we persevered in
the study of buffalos till we all learned that long horns
were obstinates, big bones would not fatten, and very
small hoofs would break and run. In the end, the Bur-
mese acknowledged the Karen buffalo herd to be the
handsomest and best of all in the region. We had the
same experience with carts. At first the Karens were
sure to come home with some broken-backed cart, which
the Burmese had put off to them for twelve rupees,
while they might have bought a new one for sixteen.
I did not tell them they had been deceived. There 's
THE PADDY STORE. 327
nothing like learning one's self. I advised thern to go
immediately and get a load of paddy. They went off
in high spirits, but coming home, over went the whole
load upon the ground in the middle of a broad prairie.
There were only two men. One had to go five miles
for a new axletree, and as soon as he was gone, the crows
and vultures pounced down upon the load, and, in spite
of the carman, appropriated a good share of it to them-
selves. " Amai ! this old rickety cart wasn't worth
two rupees," I heard them telling the others on their
return. They never mentioned it to me, they were so
much ashamed. Ever after they took care to buy good
Rice is the staple food of this place instead of bread.
The Karens have no money to lay up in advance, and
they were quite at the mercy of the traders in the rains.
I resolved to build a store-house, and store for them one
thousand bushels of paddy ; then they could buy of me
at cost price when the paddy rose ; for the Burmese
raised the price from thirty to seventy rupees the hun-
dred baskets, or from four annas to a rupee the bushel
for unbeaten rice. The Burmese traders were shrewd
enough to see what I was doing, so they kept up the
price, and I had to pay forty-five and fifty rupees the
hundred, and in the same proportion the Karens had to
pay for all eatables.
Their ploughs, yokes, everything indeed, I was obliged
to look after. These obtained, I must then go up and
divide the land, and this was the hardest of all. No
new cultivator would raise his axe till I apportioned off
•328 LIFE AND DEATH.
his lot. It was of no use for me at first to delegate this
business to another. Mama must say herself what
should be theirs. So I submitted, knowing they would
after awhile learn to trust the assistant, who always
accompanied me, which they now do ; but for many
weeks at first I had to go out twice and three times the
week nearly the whole length of the land, five miles in
extent, dividing off their lots to arrange for their school-
houses, and their dwellings ; to prescribe for their sick,
to cheer them on, and instruct them in the Scriptures.
Their Bible studies they missed more than anything
else. They had been for more than a year constant
attendants at our Bible class, and were so deeply inte-
rested, they could repeat a great deal by heart, and I
never visited them without a Bible meeting ; but these
field labours were really much harder than all my teach-
ing in the house, although there I had no help except
natives and our own boys.
One day, on returning, I was met by the girls, saying
my little Frank was sick. Without a moment's delay
I hastened to him. This was on Monday. On Wed-
nesday evening, I had no little Frank in this world.
When I saw he must die, I bent down and told him
the worst, just as I had always done when giving them
medicine. " You are going to Jesus, darling," I said :
" you are not afraid to go ? " He looked up, at first
startled, but instantly signified that he was not afraid,
and that look was so loving in the midst of his agony.
The dear brothers were parted — our little circle broken,
and so suddenly — so unexpectedly — by a death so in-
DARLING MEUS. 329
expressibly painful, I had scarcely strength to lay him
in the grave. His papa was in the hills, and could not
reach us, so I buried him alone, with our kind friend,
Captain Bond, and the Karens. I heard a Minister
once remark in the pulpit : " Some people under bereave-
ment go about their business, and you scarcely see any
difference, while others are entirely overcome. This
is owing- to finer and more acute feelings in the one than
the other." So a lady once said to me when my heart
was breaking, — " Why, you look just as usual!" I
think the Master Himself taught us on this subject.
He bore about with Him the heaviest bereavement, and
yet worked on with cheerfulness.
My angel boy was a dear little missionary, and taught
a Sunday-school of little Karen orphans for two years
before he died. The children and girls of the school
He was a great reader ; he had laid by story books at
my request, and taken to graver studies. He was well
acquainted with Humboldt and Layard, and Buchanan,
and the Pilgrim's Progress was his daily companion.
The stroke was indeed heavy, and tears were my
nightly companions, yet I trust tears of submission.
His own mother died when he was only three months
old, and kind Mrs. Bennett, now of Maulmain, became
a dear and tender mother to him, until I went and
claimed him, which was before he could walk much.
There were only three months' difference between him
and my own little boy, so they were like twins, and
until the last week of his life, my pet lambs would jump
330 love's discipline.
into my arms at once. His name was Francis, but
when lie came to me I named him Metis. He was a
daring, restless boy, and it was very hard for him to keep
from cutting the benches and spoiling the inkstands in
school. One time I had to pay quite a bill for this,
but I only gave it him to pay, telling him I would have
to go without my dinner that day. His little lip quivered,
and he could not possibly swallow his own dinner. He
would often come, after we returned to Barrnah, twine
his arms around me, laying his sweet face close to mine,
and whisper, "I am so glad you didn't leave me in
America, for then I should have been a bad boy. You
know I couldn't be still, mama/' leaving tears of tender
gratitude upon my cheek ; and truly I was afraid to
leave him, lest he should be treated with severity for his
restlessness, and so become stubborn.
My dear boys at one time bore a heavy weight upon
their hearts for months ; at last they came to me and
made a full confession of all their heart-sins, and poured
out their long pent-up sorrows. After this they were
very happy, and tried to live in the fear of God. They
had sinful hearts, but they struggled hard and obtained
the victory, so that I recollect only a single instance
where a wicked nature betrayed itself, and then but for a
moment, during all the last year of Frank's life. From
being restless he became quiet, from being careless he
became exceedingly watchful, and from being hard he
became as tender as an infant in all his emotions. The
change was remarkable and striking, and I doubt if boys
ever enjoyed more of Christ together.
"WORK AND PLAY. 331
They studied everything together, reciting to one
another ; with my examining them on Saturdays, they
got on so as to enter the High School Latin Class in
Newton Centre, Mass., after reaching home when seven
years old, and they went through arithmetic alone.
They generally kept their study-hours very regularly,
knowing that an exhaustless fund of amusement was
ready for them as soon as the lessons were well learned.
They had their own little Burman high-backed saddles,
their own pony, and their own boat. At four o'clock,
they donned their Highland costume, and steered with
all speed over the river to the orphans, who knew just
when to expect them, and were always ready on the
beach ; and these poor children miss them now.
They taught all the boys in the settlement how to
swim, and girls to row a boat, and to ride. My Frank
was a fine rider, and could manage any pony that was
brought in to our village. He was thrown two or three
times, so was his brother ; but they both rode so that
they would gallop up and down the roads at the swiftest
possible speed, without saddle or bridle. Boating was
a source of great amusement to both the boys, and this,
too, they taught the Karen students, having first learned
themselves, for the young men coming from the moun-
tains were extremely fearful of water. One time, Frank
was rowing me across the river, when there arose a
sudden squall, which came near capsizing the boat. We
had a dozen Karens in the boat, and all too much
frightened to give the slightest assistance. " Bail out ! "
he cried, " and sit still. We "11 go it." This re-assured
332 FOND RECOLLECTIONS.
the Karens, and he landed vis all safely. It was a very
wild scene, and one of great peril. The wind was blow-
ing a gale, and the whole river in commotion, the breakers
all around us, and the white crested waves every moment
dashing over us. Edwin had rowed his boat across, and
stood ready to strike out if we went over. And over we
must have gone but for my brave little pilot, who stood
up amidst the wild waters, and gave his orders loud
above the roaring winds, and in a tone so calm and self-
possessed, it inspired every one present, so that each one
did the very best thing possible, and we all reached
shore without harm. It was really a great feat, and
he, dear boy, was amply paid by seeing that his papa
and I appreciated his skill.
With all their play and study, one would think they
could not have been of much service to me, but oh !
they were, and when gone, I missed my darling on
every rock, every wave, and in every corner of the
house. All the time I was in the jungles after timber,
Frank and Edwin were our accountants and apothe-
caries, selling, during that time, four hundred rupees'
worth of medicines and books to the Karens. Every
ounce of this and every book they had set down in
perfect order, and rendered the account to their papa,
with all the money received in. Frank, also, kept my
bazaar account for me, and servants' bills, and every-
thing expended in the family.
Soon after this parting, I was brought very low with
fever for three weeks ; and in the rains I wrote to my
daughter : —
" I have scarcely done anything for many months but
nurse and doctor the sick. Cholera has been raging all
around ; and out of our little settlement, thirty-four are
now at rest. I have taken four very severe cases of cholera
into our own house, and, by God's blessing, they are
now well : the last was Quala, whose wife had just died
with cholera in the jungles. Twenty-five orphans are
with us, all made so within three months. On the
mountains they all flee and leave the sick to die alone,
and remain unburied until the wild beasts enter the
house and devour them."
THE " KING OF TOUNGHOO."
Our sufferings were thought to have been caused by
cholera. If I thought otherwise, it was not wise to
think it aloud ; but scarcely had we recovered, when
Captain Rock, the " King of Tounghoo," as he crowned
himself, called on us with a train of Burmese.
" Mrs. Mason, these Burmese have come with a peti-
tion for some land. You see I know nothing about the
matter — nothing at all," he said. I begged to explain
that the Burman Thuygee had given the land to the
Karens by order of the former Deputy Commissioner.
" But you bring no documents," said the King. " I can
deal only with documents. You had better write imme-
diately to the Commissioner for documents."
" The Commissioner knows all about the matter, and
has given orders that we should not be molested."
" Aye ! Is that your school-house over the river ?"
" It is the People's house."
" Oh, ay, but I 've not much opinion of this mission
work. Missionaries, no doubt, mean well ; but it 's all
useless — there's no changing savages. You'll never
KING OF TOUNGIIOO. 335
" The Commissioner thinks we have succeeded."
" Well, but, Mrs. Mason, what shall we do about this
matter ? It 's very unpleasant — particularly unpleasant."
" There is nothing to be done. The Commissioner
of Pegu gave the Thuygee orders commanding him what
" The Thuygee ! How ? what ? where is it ? " in
apparent amazement, whereupon the Thuygee was
obliged to produce the order which commanded him not
to trouble the Karens, and not to give the jungle to any
other party till the boundary should be settled.
" Yes, I see ; but, Mrs. Mason, these people say they
want to enlarge their fields. I know nothing about it —
nothing at all. It's very bad — very bad, indeed, this
mingling of races."
Two weeks after this boding interview, I went up
into the rice fields, and, to my dismay, found the Bur-
mese had began to clear the Karen land. We were
entirely at the mercy of Captain Rock, so I wrote up
to him. He replied that he had ordered all work to
cease, and had appointed a Burman to go out and inves-
tigate the subject. Commissioned a hostile Burman,
and that, too, directly contrary to official orders! I
entreated that the subject might be left where the Com-
missioner himself had left it.
" That cannot be," he answered. " It is clearly my
duty to prevent all trespassing. I shall to-morrow re-
issue my order to the Goung to take up any Karens
whom he may find trespassing upon the land in dispute."
Entreaties were again employed. No reply : the work
336 PRATER ANSWERED.
was all stopped, the Karens in great distress, the Bur-
mese rejoicing, declaring that Captain Rock has deter-
mined all Karens should go back to the hills. One
Burman comes riding into the fields with an elephant to
trample down the Karens — their houses are pulled down
— they are terribly threatened and frightened, and we
flee to prayer, and are all of us found in the chapel
till twelve o'clock.
In the morning arrives the Rangoon mail, and I
" To , Esq., Collector of Customs, Tolnghoo.
" I herewith enclose to you a copy of a letter dated
the 8th of February last, which I addressed to Captain
D., directing him to make over to the mountain Karens
some vacant jungle land in the circle of Kannee. As
this has not been done, I herewith invest you with
special powers to proceed and do so.
" When completed, I request you will send me a copy,
showing the exact boundaries given to the Karens.
" Any Burmese settlers on land within that which
the Karens applied for, who have entered since the date
of the application, will be directed to quit.
" I have, &c, &c,
• A. P. Phayre,
" Com. Pegu, Agent to the Got. -General!'
By the same mail the following came to me from
Colonel Phayre : —
ANSWER FROM GOD. 337
" As soon as the papers reach me, I will endeavour
to make everything satisfactory. I consider it a great
object to induce the mountain Karens to come down to
the plains. You may be sure I will do all I can to
The order had been issued previous to Captain 's
order, and had been ten days or more on the way, so it
was very singular that it should reach us just at this
time, as if God, foreseeing the distress that would come
upon us, had so arranged it on purpose to comfort us,
and to grant special answer to prayer. Truly, " It is
not in man that walketh to direct his steps." I imme-
diately telegraphed to the Commissioner : —
"Thank you! Thank you!" Heb. vi. 10; and took
for our subject, in the Bible class that evening, 1 John
v. 14, "And this is the confidence that we have in
Him, if we ask anything according to His will, He
This arrangement sent the Karens for a time back to
their paddy fields. But the result of this officer's inves-
tigations will be seen in Mr. Mason's official letter to
Government : —
" Tounghoo, June 12th, 1859.
" To Colonel Phayre, Commissioner or Pegu.
" I have the honour to acknowledge the reception
of your letter, dated May 18th, 1859, making inquiries
relative to the Kannee lands now in cultivation by the
338 MR. mason's letter.
Karens. To make the matter as plain as possible, a map
of those lands, accompanying this letter, will be found
reduced from the Surveyors' map, made by the Super-
intendent of Customs. According to a statement in one
of your notes to Mrs. Mason, that ' No interference or
occupation of the land, after the date of the application,
could be allowed,' Mrs. Mason pledged her word to the
Karens, who were very fearful lest they should lose their
labour, that the land they cleared should be their own,
and fifty -five men have been at work in the forest, more
or less, for the last five or six months. The Super-
intendent, making his boundary, has cut off twelve of
the best paddy fields cleared by the Karens, running
along the watercourses where the water is a cubit
deep, leaving them only a narrow strip, where the water
is but ankle deep. These fields, on which they had
worked for some six months, he has given to the Bur-
mese, whose broad, rich fields already stretched as far as
the eye could scan.
" He admits that the Karens are wronged by the
arrangement he proposes, because he recommends remu-
neration to be made. He writes me, ' The Commis-
sioner will, I doubt not, consent to a moderate pecu-
niary indemnification being made to them.' Now, if
the Karens have commenced their cultivation illegally,
they are not entitled to ' pecuniary indemnification ; '
but Mr. says they are entitled to it, therefore
they have commenced cultivating their lands legally,
Mr. being judge ; and all we ask is to have this
legal occupancy confirmed to them. Money is not the
MR. mason's letter. 339
article wanted, but the land, and Mr. 's special
powers were to make over the land applied for ; and by
refusing to do this, and recommending that the Karens
shall be driven oif the land for a pecuniary indemnifica-
tion, he seems to me to have travelled out of the docket,
and assumed ' special powers' not granted him. Instead
of making over the land as directed, he goes into a
lengthened statement of reasons for taking it from the
Karens, and giving it to the Burmese ; the main one of
which is, that the Burmese are rich !
" The whole space of good paddy land is very small
for a large number of people. The remainder is either
too sandy or too dry for paddy, and will answer only for
temporary cultivation or for gardens."
The Superintendent of Customs was not a man that
feared God, and was overawed by Captain . He
was soon after removed to another post, and again the
work fell back into Captain 's own hands, who had
long hoped to be appointed Deputy Commissioner of
Tounghoo, but hearing that the vacancy was otherwise
filled, he was like a wild elephant, ready to trample
nations, Government, and all into the ground, so he sent
Mr. Mason another note : —
" Tounghoo, 25th July, 1850.
' " My, dear Sir,
" A few days ago two Burmese came and complained
to me of your Karens, as I prognosticated would be the
case. I ordered the Kannee Thugyee to investigate
into the matter, and to report to me. He is here now,
and may I beg you to attend and hear the case further
On his departure from Tounghoo, the Superintendent
of Customs had issued an order, permitting the Karens
to resume their work again, and had commanded that
no one should interfere with them, being compelled to
do so by Colonel Phayre. This order Mr. Mason sent
up to the court.
Captain replied, " I must issue a fresh order,
and insist upon the land being vacated by the Karens
till the decision of the boundary comes from the Com-
This threw the Karens and myself once more into the
deepest distress. I again telegraphed to Colonel Phayre,
and soon this note came from Captain : —
"August 3rd, 1859.
" Dear Sir,
" I beg leave to send you the accompanying telegram.
Your people are to reap the one crop that they have now
cultivated. I will issue the necessary order."
" Now, let us show the Burmese what Christianity is.
We '11 not utter a word of triumph as they did to us,
but we '11 only speak kindly/' says the principal culti-
vator, in which all the others join. Praising God and
giving thanks, they proceed again to their fields. Two
or three days pass. In comes the Thugyee with another
paper, utterly forbidding the Karens to proceed. "We
again remonstrate, and the following is received from
Captain : —
" I told the Thugyee explicitly to let them alone, as
far as the crop sown by them was concerned, which it is
most clearly understood they are to have, but I don't un-
derstand that they are to continue further cultivation."
They were in the midst of ploughing and sowing
their fields, in the greatest haste, as the right season for
it was rapidly passing.
More entreaties follow, telling Captain that the
Karens cleared the fields themselves, that they would
have no rice for the whole year, that they had already
suffered extremely by cholera, and that they and their
little ones were starving.
Answer : —
" I shall certainly adhere to my resolution, and not
allow either party to reap any benefit from the land ;"
and the Thugyee ordered every one to leave the fields
with their families and buifalos. Difficult as it was to
write to such a wicked man, I did again, stating that,
if compelled to drive away their buffalos, the Karens
would never be able to repay the Government loan, and
he alone must be responsible for the money. Upon this
he permitted the Karens to remain in their homes and
tend their buffalos, provided they would not raise a
hand to work on the land in question, but threatening
that if they did that, and were brought before him for
trespass, their fine should exceed all the value of their
342 captain d'oyly dead.
Picture, reader, forty or fifty families, in as many
different houses, scattered up through the fields. All
of a sudden there appear red-belted peons all along,
hooting out Government orders to stop all work. The
plough is arrested in its furrow — the sower's arm is
caught back with its handful of seed — the uplifted axe
is jerked from the hand of the forester — the poor mother
bending over her potato patch is ordered into the hut,
and the armful of faggots is knocked from the arm's of
the little child.
Weeks pass, and Captain D'Oyly, as a special favour,
comes from Prome, — Captain D'Oyly, the benevolent
Commissioner, who gave them the land ; a man re-
markable for deep penetration, for skill in dealing with
the different classes of nations ; a man noted, too, for
his sympathy and fear of God. To him the Commis-
sioner of Pegu writes : —
"I consider it of great importance that the moun-
tain Karen tribes should be induced to settle in the
plains, and cultivate land. I feel assured you will also
see the importance of the case in that respect, and also
of the epiestion generally being settled satisfactorily and
justly for both parties."
Four days pass, and Captain D'Oyly is laid on a sick
bed — one week, and he dies. A pall ! a pall ! Alas,
for the Karens! Captain again takes the field,
and the Karens are scattered.
Two Karen chiefs, who were leaders in this under-
taking, had also died very suddenly. It was said by
cholera, but I held their hands when they died, and
was no more sure of that than the officers were with
Captain D'Oyly's horses. He had four or five, one
pair of beautiful iron greys, which were great pets.
First a common one died, then another, then one
of the greys. Captain D'Oyly was in the jungles
upon official business, and seeing all his ponies going,
his friend, Captain Bond, roused up, and examinations
were made again and again, still the ponies died, until
every one was gone ! The natives cried snakes ! Cap-
tain D'Oyly was a Christian Commissioner, and sought
earnestly to honour the law, human and divine. He
detected a Burman of high rank in harbouring robbers,
and sharing the booty, for which he fearlessly cast him
into prison. It was soon after this that all his ponies
died ; and since we commenced the paddy cultivation,
the Karens have had four elephants die, two of which
cost seven hundred rupees each.
I confess I feel that my own life, and that of every
one who attempts to work for God's kingdom in Toung-
hoo, is in jeopardy, as well as the school-buildings.
I sent a text to the Commissioner of Pegu : —
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but
against principalities, against powers, against the riders
of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wicked-
ness in high places."
As the Karens were driven away in the midst of their
ploughing, when too late to make mountain fields,
seventeen families had not a kernel of rice for the year.
These suffered greatly, having been reduced a part of
the time almost to starvation, and must have come to
344 CAUSE OP AFFLICTION.
still greater suffering if the others and ourselves had
not helped them by sharing their sufferings. Thirteen
families had only from twenty to forty baskets, when
they had cleared land enough for one hundred baskets
each, and more. Out of six Bghai villages commenced,
only one man was allowed to cultivate at all, and he
had only thirty or forty baskets, when he and the other
Bghais had cleared land enough for a good crop. Thirty-
eight families had been so alarmed by the threatenings
of Captain , that they fled for ever, it is supposed.
But the continued perseverance of the others amidst
such heavy oppression proves, that, if rightly cared for,
the Karens will yet greatly remunerate Government for
any aid it may render them.
You will ask why it was that so many should harrass
the Karens. I can only answer, Satan was let loose
for a little season, for some wise purpose, perhaps to
drive them into the sure tower and rock of defence.
Colonel Phayre, finding the independent Karens a
pretty formidable host to deal with, resolved to form a
mountain police of reliable Christian men, who should
be able to protect their own schools, chapels, and homes.
Upon this I petitioned that fifty might be enlisted from
the paddy cultivators on the plains ; I thought it would
help them to pay for their buffalos.
Among them would be found the fittest and strongest
men now, for after a year spent in the neighbourhood of
the schools, they could walk twice as far, carry twice as
much, and accomplish more by contrivance than the rest.
They would be the most obedient. It would inspire the
men on the mountains, to see a body of soldiers prac-
tising on their own parade ground. They would feel more
secure, because the Institute Guard acts as the pulse of
the nation, holding immediate and daily communication
in a direct line with every village and hamlet, from
Shwagyn to the Burmese territory on the north, and to
the Red Karen kingdom on the east. Then it was of
importance to protect this post, as here would be grouped
their most costly buildings, libraries, and school appa-
346 COLONEL PHAYRE'S PLAN.
ratus, and schools, too, in constant operation. But
above all these considerations, the Kannee Pass led
right through their paddy settlement, and this was
the key to the city from the north-east. Colonel Phayre
was very willing to allow the arrangement, provided it
did not too much weaken the guard on the hills. The
new officer was empowered to organize the Karen police,
but when he called for the men, they hesitated.
" Is Captain going to organize us ?" the Karen
chiefs inquired in dismay. " Teacher, we are afraid."
They remembered the sacked villagers had obtained no
redress ; they remembered the rice land was not yet
given, and when he sent for them, only a very few would
come at all. Colonel Phayre's plan was to form two
companies in the mountains, supply them with arms,
and a certain quantity of ammunition monthly, and let
them learn to use them themselves in the jungles, paying
them a mere nominal sum, just enough to make the hill
men recognise them as soldiers. This he and Mr. Mason
had arranged, as the cheapest, wisest, and best for the
people, and it pleased the Karens far better than to come
to town at full pay.
Captain 's judgment was to make them barrack
soldiers, and have them thoroughly drilled. Mr. Mason
doubted the expediency of doing this, and did not like to
meddle with it ; besides, he had no time. Then Captain
turned to me : —
" Come," he said, " Mrs. Mason, they will do anything
you tell them. Call them down and encourage them to
ORGANIZING A POLICE. 347
Mr. Mason, under the circumstances, thought I had
better do it. So the Board of Managers was called.
They immediately telegraphed to every pinnacle and
glen by their runners, and in two days nearly two hun-
dred chiefs and men stood before Captain , the
" Great Chief, greeting," they said, as all appeared in
highland garb and dignity ; but they noticed he did not
give his hand to them as Colonel Phayre and Captain
D'Oyly had done.
" Tell them," said the Captain, " I will enroll two
companies, with two captains, two lieutenants, eight
sergeants, and one hundred and sixty men."
" Th'kyen," they replied, " we are afraid. We are
ignorant men. We do not understand white men's
" Never mind ; I '11 send a man over here to teach
" Suppose your man drinks, he will spoil all our young
men. Suppose he flogs, our people will all run away."
" He shall not do either. I know a good man who
never drinks. I '11 send for him."
" Would he be patient ? We cannot learn quickly.
We don't know Burmese talk."
" He shall neither flog nor drink. He shall be
patient. I want you to remain on the plains until you
have learned thoroughly."
" Th'kyen, we are chiefs. We have the care of our
villages and of God's work on the mountains. We
cannot remain constantly."
" But I will pay your captains forty rupees the month,
the lieutenants twenty-five, the sergeants sixteen, and
the sepoys eight."
" Th'kyen, let the great Governor keep his money.
Give us arms, powder, shot, and land. We will learn
to shoot ; we will defend our villages and chapels."
" But I cannot give you these, unless you come and
learn soldiers' business."
"How long must we stay away from our homes ?"
" Till you have learned to be soldiers."
" Shall we then go back ?"
" You shall."
" We cannot learn with the Burmans. They do not
worship God. They drink and swear. Our young men
would follow in their ways, and be ruined. We cannot
drill with heathen."
" You need not. You may have Karen barracks in
your own village, and be drilled here."
. " How can we learn here, Th'kyen."
" I will send men to teach you. You shall be entirely
separate from the Burmese, and have nothing to do with
" Shall we not have Burman officers ?"
" No. I will make Karen officers."
" Shall we certainly be taught in our own village, and
not be called over to learn with the Burmese ? "
" You shall."
" Th'kyen, our men cannot support their families
on soldiers' pay. Give them less money and some
" You shall have the land as I told you, every bit of
it " (impatiently).
" Mama, we are afraid. If he means true, why does
he not pity our starving brothers ? Why does he not let
us have the land now, and why does he not bring back
the captives ? Teacheress, we fear this Government
man. Do you advise us to enlist V*
" I cannot advise. He appears truthful. You will
get no arms unless you do enlist."
" Teacheress, pledge your word with this Governor's,
then we Avill enlist."
" Captain , they are afraid," turning to him.
" They fear Government will ensnare them. They will
not enlist unless I give my word with you."
" Pray give it, Mrs. Mason. I will deal honourably
with them." And so I gave my word that the promises
made them shall be sacredly kept, and they gave in their
names, the best chiefs being appointed officers.
It is the Sabbath — the chiefs and men are assembled
for worship. Hark ! What are they listening to ? Why
do the young men look at the chiefs, the chiefs at one
another, and all at me so questioningly ? Drive, drive !
clack, clack ! go the hammers — up — up go the rafters
all through that holy day. Captain 's workmen
building him a new house. Nothing is said.
It is Monday morning — the chiefs are on the verandah.
" Teacher, I want my name taken off from the list
of Bos" (officers). " And mine," "And mine," said
one after another.
"Why, what 's the matter now ?"
" Oh, this ruler does not know the Ten Command-
ments /" As usual, I go to Mr. Mason.
"You had better return/' he said, "and reason the
matter. Tell thern they will probably encounter many
temptations, but on the other hand, if they do not enlist,
Government will give them no arms, and there will be no
protection for them against their enemies."
I find them all assembled in the Institute.
"Then what shall we do?" they cry all at once,
"Don't you know what the Bible says?"
" Er, er," answered Poquai. " ' Let him that lacks
wisdom ask of me.'" I leave them to prayer and con-
sultation. Again the chiefs appear on the verandah.
" We have determined what to do," and they hold out
a list of resolutions : —
" 1st. We will not tcork on God's holy day.''
" 2nd. We will not drink arrack, or toddy, or brandy,
or allow our men to use these drinks."
" 3rd. We will take care only of our own country."
" 4th. We will have permission to leave our business
honourably, if we dislike it."
" Oh, oh ! Captain won't sign any such paper/'
I said, taking it in to Mr. Mason.
" Then we may not enlist," was the determined reply
"Why do you name the third?" Mr. Mason asks
just then stepping out of his study.
"Because, teacher, this Governor does not Jcnoic the
Ten Commandments. So whether he will be good or
bad, we do not know. Supposing he is bad, then he gets
angry with us ignorant Karens. He says, I'll punish
'em, so he may send us away over to the west and
leave our homes unprotected ; then an enemy may come
immediately, destroy our villages, and break up our
" This is correct reasoning, but why the fourth resolu-
tion ? That is contrary to all military usage."
" Teacher, we know our people. If a Karen does
not like a thing, he '11 run away. No officer, no money,
no Government can keep him. Then we are made
ashamed before the Great Governor, and our name is
injured before our brethren in America." I begged
them, if determined, yet to soften the matter down a
little and be polite, which they tried to be, and then
went up, asking for Captain 's signature and the
" Oh yes, yes ; I '11 sign it. Come with me to court."
Immediately there comes a Burman goung, and pours
down fifteen hundred rupees upon the floor before the
Karen officers. Then another follows : —
" What 's your name ?"
" Chief Ledie."
" Chief J'Que." So he goes round, and takes the
names of all the officers in his book.
"Done! Take your money and be off!" gruffly,
with a haughty toss of the head.
" Give us the paper, Th'kyen," entreat the chiefs.
" Go — go. I can't attend to you ; I am full of busi-
ness," says Captain in displeasure.
352 THE TRAP.
" We wait, Th'kyen," and there they sat until noon,
when two came over to me.
"What shall we do, mama?" they asked in great
" Have you signed any receipt ?"
"Are you sure?"
" Have they not taken your names ?"
" A Burman set down our names, but we have not
touched the money."
" But you have given your names, and without the
" We gave nothing. The Burman took our names."
I referred the matter again to Mr. Mason, and he decided
that they were under no obligation to take the money,
without the signature promised to their resolutions, as
they had told him they could not serve without it.
"We will not touch it!" they cried resolutely, and
again took their seats to await his convenience. Two
o'clock comes, three o'clock, and no indication of the
signature ; four o'clock, and Captain leaves the
" We go, Th'kyen," say the chiefs, rising.
" Take the rupees."
" Give us the paper, Th'kyen ! "
" The Mengyee will give no paper. Take the money
and be gone."
" We leave it here, Th'kyen."
" You dare not leave it. It is yours, and you are
THE TRAP. 353
ct "VVe mil not have it, Th'kyen, without the paper."
A secret messenger is despatched to Captain ■ .
He re- appears, throws them a letter in Burmese, ordering
them away gruffly. They desire to have the paper read,
but are peremptorily ordered out that the doors may be
closed. So they take up the money, and being half-
famished, having sat there all day, they go immediately
over to their Karen settlement, and send the assistant
with the paper to Mr. Mason. Mr. Mason reads : —
" You are to obey me and the officer whom I place
over you !"
" That all ?" he asks in dismay.
" That is all."
Terrible indignation we knew would rise in every
breast, that evening, among the Karens ; and long we
sat deliberating on what course to pursue ; until Mr.
Mason became alarmed.
" Go over," he says, " and try to soften their anger,
and help them to arrange for guarding the money
through the night, for they will surely be robbed."
Ten o'clock rings — Shemoop is called — I jump into
my little boat, and reach the landing. The gong is
rung, and in a few minutes nearly two hundred men in
their Highland tunics, with dahs in hand, and in great
excitement, are hovering close around me in the moon-
" Come, brothers, let us go in and talk over this
matter. Now speak, each one. Say just what you
choose," for I thought it safer to let them exhaust their
pent-up feelings first. And they did speak, one after
35-i ONE NOT ALL.
another, and poured forth their indignation upon the
English Government, until every eye gleamed and many
leaped to their feet, snatching their dahs and war-clubs
in one wild clamour.
" Gently, gently, brothers."
" Sit down !" shout the captains. " Let mama speak.'"
Instantly every voice is hushed, every form has dropped
upon the floor, and every eye is fixed to hear if I can
say a word in extenuation. Very gently, in a low voice,
I ask : —
" Are there not kidnappers in your nation V
• \Vould you like Commissioner Phayre to declare
you all kidnappers?"
" No — no — we understand."
" You saw the Great Commissioner at Klurlae. Did
he ever tell you a falsehood ?"
" The Great Commissioner tell a lie ! No — no — he
couldn't tell a lie ! He knows the Ten Commandments."
" Then do not put this sin upon the English Govern-
" No — no — we must not."
" Then again, did you not say this man knows not
the Ten Commandments ?"
" Er — er. So we have reason to fear."
" Then, ought you to call all Englishmen bad?"
" No — no, but why does he not learn ? He knows
books. He is a disciple."
" Is he a disciple ? What does the Bible say is the
beginning of wisdom ? "
u The fear of God," answers Pwama, again.
" Without the beginning, can there be progress ?
Ought we not to pity rather than be angry with hirn ?"
" Er, er, the teacheress is right ; but we'll carry it
back," exclaim the Captains, in one breath.
" May be he'll put you in gaol."
" Let him put us in gaol — let him cut off our heads —
we can bear it," thundered the Captains, towering up.
" Brothers," they cry, turning to the sepoys, " you
have not taken one anna of this money. You are free.
Go home if you choose. To-morrow we carry all back
and pour it at the Governor's feet. We wont eat
Government money." In half an hour, scores of these
men, who had enlisted as soldiers at my earnest entreaty,
were tramping off up the mountains, as hard as they
could go, declaring they would never again come down
at the call of Government. The next morning the
Captains went up once more to Captain with
Nah Khan Qualay, and begged for the right paper.
" I can never sign such a paper," he replied. " No
Government officer would agree to such propositions."
" If the paper does not please the Governor, let him
not sign it ; but let him dismiss his humble servants to
" I shall not dismiss you. You have enlisted."
" We go, Th'kyen," rising, bowing themselves out.
" For the money, my lord." And so he allowed them
to depart ; but on their reaching the river, a messenger
was despatched to call them back. They went and
2 a 2
stood at the foot of the steps, half expecting to see an
" Hear," says Captain "here's your paper," and
gave them the veritable document, just what they had
asked, stamped with the Government seal. With joyful
eyes they brought it to Mr. Mason, and desired us to
write a note of thanks to Captain , which was done,
assuring him that blessings would fall upon him from
every pinnacle of the mountains, when he sent us the
following kind reply : —
" It gives me much pleasure to think that in carrying
out the signing of the Karen petition, I should, at the
same time, have afforded you so much satisfaction ; and
I trust, with your valuable assistance, to be able to show
that the Karens, if properly cared for, will prove as able
settlers of the country as the tribes around them. I
was much amused yesterday to see the Karens sit so
utterly regardless of the rupees before them. I supposed
they would grasp them like Burmese and Shans ; but I
see they are not to be bought over from the service of the
great God whom you have so wonderfully introduced
" Now let us thank God," said Poquai, one of the
Lieutenants, and in humble awe and love they bowed
there at once, and sent up their warm heart-breathings
to the Almighty, whose own right arm had wrought
It was then thought that Captain had only
THE BRIGAND'S RULE. 357
been trying these Christian officers to see what they
really were ; but, however it was, we knew the answer
was from the Lord ; and that night we took for our
text in the Bible class, " I will sing of the mercies of
the Lord for ever ; with my mouth will I make known
thy faithfulness to all generations."
One day a messenger came in out of breath, saying,
the Bogyee Brigand, who had sacked the village men-
tioned, was pouring down his men towards the Chris-
tians again. The Deputy Commissioner sent up an
embassy with a written message, threatening this Bob
Roy of the north, if he didn't behave himself, he would
set a thousand rupees upon his head. His ambassadors
went as far towards the hostile region as they dared, to
put up the message on a stake in the path, and hastened
back to court as hard as they could go. The pickets
soon found the missive, and hastened to send it to their
leader. In a few days a letter from the daring brigand
was found much nearer home, bidding defiance to the
Government, and telling the Deputy to beware, or he
would come and spear him and burn his town. The
marauders came on, gathering strength at every step.
Again he reached the plundered chief's village, which
now lay powerless before him, for his force was said to
be several thousand strong.
" See," he says, " what do you gain from these white
Colahs ? What have they done for you ? Besist me
now, and I'll burn your village; join me, and I will
redress your wrongs in a different way." The plun-
dered chief was entirely at his mercy ; he had no power
S58 WHO SAVED rOUNGHOO.
sist the demands of such a sweeping force, and, of
course, gave him food and shelter. Some said his
people joined the warriors. If they did. it is not strange..
though I think it was untrue ; but the Border leader
pushed on, coercing and persuading, and under the magic
name oi Menlong, he carried all before him.
The Deputy Commissioner is sleeping quietly in his
own house — one nearest the invader's route. What
dreams he of danger at that midnight hour I But hark !
a knocking at the door. What is it !
••Th'kyen! Th'kyen : Menlong! Menlong!"
Captain starts up — the English forces are
called in haste to the battle — meet the brigand, who
flies into the forest — Captain with six English-
men give chase — the friendly Karens see the Commis-
sioner's danger — rush to the conflict — the robber is
overborne, but he sells his life dearly — three brave
Karens lie slaughtered at his feet — the prisoner is taken
down to the spot which he had reached nearest to town,
and is there hung.
Tounghoo is saved — but was it saved by foreigners ?
No, indeed '. It was saved by the Karen police of native
Christians, who gave the warning, and who so boldly
risked their lives for their ruler.
UCLUSIOH — DEDUCTIONS — THE PAST OF THE
KARE5 HATI 2".
Thus far does Mrs. Mason describe this true "Romance
of Missions :" ire should not perhaps venture to use a
word that commonly appertains to the kingdoms of the
unreal, but that we have the authority of Dr. Mason,
her grave and sober husband, for it, in his appendix to
his little b:»ok called -'The Karen Apostle/' which has
been often re-published both in England and America,
a fourth edition of which lately reached us by the hand
of Mrs. Ranney, a sister Missionary, just fresh from
Rangoon. '• The history of the introduction of Chris-
tianity among the Karens/' Dr. Mason says, "is -
full of 'truth stranger than fiction.'" to be believed by
those afar off from us, and yet the brightest colom
these scenes of surpassing interest are perhaps never
seen at home."
'■ The days most interesting to myself/' he writes in
1862, " during more than thirty years of Missionary life,
are those spent at the Association Anniversaries. These
people must n on their native mountains to be
_ iated and understood. Between one and two
3 GO FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
thousand persons, encamped in booths covered with
green branches, are gathered around a large central
bamboo building erected for the occasion, in winch they
assemble four times a-day.
" It is their annual holiday, and dressed in their best,
the large proportion in new clothes, more especially the
women and children, their appearance in the varied
frarments of a dozen different tribes and chins is most
picturesque. Standing in their midst, surrounded by
the wild scenery of their wild hills, with their unbroken
ponies dashing to and fro, they seem wilder than the
Bedouin of the desert ; but what a contrast to the Arab
who has been deluded by his False Book ! When the
gong brings the people to worship, the scene appears to
change by enchantment. The young men arise to ad-
dress the congregation by turns from the Word of the
true God ; and we could believe ourselves again at
home, listening to the eloquent discourses of our popular
" The Karens are a remarkable people, and a remark-
able change has come over them — like the change of the
lion to the lamb. The most astonishing feature of the
whole work, to my mind, is the number and talent of
the Native Preachers that God has raised up among
In 18G0, Mrs. Mason again left Burmah for America,
to invite, by personal intercourse and description, the aid
of American and English ladies in her sphere of labour.
She passed by way of London, and, during her then
short visit, was introduced to the details of the " Miss-
ing Link " Mission among our Home Heathen, and
became confirmed in her ideas that very similar plans
will be found useful in Tounghoo, the Bible-readers,
however, being necessarily of a different age.
" Before I left home," she says, " Mr. Mason had
often spoken on the subject of Bible-readers in Tounghoo,
and the desirableness of setting forth a company of
Native Females, with this object, to go from house to
house, and from hamlet to hamlet, to read and explain
the Scriptures directly to the women."
Mrs. Mason was detained in America, first by much
personal affliction. She caught the small-pox during
the summer, and recovered from that sad disease only to
nurse her young daughter-in-law through rapid con-
sumption, and then to lay her in an early grave. She
was further occupied in sending forward her own daugh-
ter, Miss Bullard, to take the care of the Karen Institute,
while she should yet be detained in America by the
publication of her book ; thus hoping to elicit further
help for the mission, and also to persuade assistant
teachers to accompany her on her return, securing their
support in England and America.
Miss Bullard arrived safely, and did good service foi>
many months, but she has since married and accom-
panied her husband to India. " She was remarkably
successful while she remained in the school," says Dr.
Mason, " and especially helped us in teaching the
Karens music. We mvist not now ask any one to take
her place who does not possess this accomplishment.
Five or six of her pupils are out on the hills, and
362 mrs. mason's seven wishes.
one of them writes that she has fifty-eight pupils.
More than six hundred fresh converts have been bap-
tized during the year, and nearly fifteen hundred rupees
are brought in for the support of the pupils of the two
Institutes. More female teachers and Bible-readers
have to be continually raised up here/' adds the Doctor.
" Mrs. Mason made a good beo-inning;, and Ella made a
good mark, but that would soon be washed away, unless
others shall follow, to add ' line upon line, and precept
upon precept.' "
We hope very soon to hear that Mrs. Mason is once
more arrived at Touno-hoo. She left England in Febru-
ary, and has been heard of from Rangoon. Her chief
ambition for the present little book is, that it may be
made the means of raising funds for the Kaeen and
Burmese Missions to Women.
She hopes it will have proved various things, and
she has written not without an idea of alluring some
of the lighter class of readers who do not in general
read Missionary books, — of disarming their prejudice
and attracting a new circle of friends.
She trusts that from these pictorial records may
spring a conviction, —
1. Of the faithfulness of Jehovah to His promises.
2. Of the power of His Holt Word.
8. That the foundation of successful Missions is their
aim from the first, to raise up Native Teachers.
4. That it is necessary to enter into the secular
affairs of the people, in an attempt to Christianize them,
for such is the example of Jesus.
HER SEVEN BIBLE-READERS. 363
5. That sympathy with those we want to teach, in
things great andumber, degraded in condition,
and the wisest men very ignorant of their own religion.
Some Hebrew Scripture MSS. were purchased from
them, which do not, however, appear to have been of
more ancient character than those already possessed in
It is very remarkable that from the Missionary
seminaries of the New World, at Massachusetts and
o74 ISRAEL AND JCDAH.
in Pennsylvania, about a generation since, there went
forth the young men, — now grey-haired, — to different
points of the East, whose loving labour was in the
course of time to bring to light such wondrous things,
particularly concerning the Book, and the Book-peoples.
We refer to Dr. Mason and Dr. Perkins, of the Nesto-
rian Mission, at Oroomiah.
We have seen Dr. Mason preparing the Bible for that
obscure and probable portion of the ten tribes, who may
be said to have thirsted for it during its loss more than
all the others, and who may, perhaps, therefore, be privi-
leged to proclaim it to all their kindred. They are
receiving Christian ideas more rapidly than any people
in the world, — unscathed, like the Affghans, by Moham-
medanism, and but slightly by the surrounding super-
stition of Budhh. It is daily developed that they are
neither a scanty nor a scattered people, but extend
at intervals over at least twelve degrees of latitude,
and ten of longitude, and they are calculated to be in
number at least five millions. The study of their
derivation will probably throw further light on the
outcast Israel of the Old Testament.*
The Missions of the Book of the present day are
unravelling the tangled threads of Scripture history in
a manner least expected. " It is only in the Bible," says
Dr. Moore, " that we find a bond of connexion between
man and man, through all his kindreds, from the
* See a most interesting work, entitled, " The Lost Tribes ; or,
the Saxons of the East and West." By Dr. Moore, of Hastings.
Longman &. Co., 1S01.
THE TWELVE TRIBES. O/D
beginning to the present, and to the end." This author,
in his charming volume, points especially to the
Hebrews, who, while " swallowed up" among the nations,
(Hosea viii. 8,) have yet influenced those nations, quite
distinctly from the eight or nine millions of men
still recognised as Jews. He treats of the Tribes
who never returned to the Land of Promise, and yet
who remained not in Assyria, the land of their exile,
but overflowed among the Scythians, or Sacce, (deri-
vation Isaac,) into the land of the Tartars, and thence
into all parts of the habitable globe.
In Amos vii. 9, the word " Isaac " is synonymous
with " Israel." The prophet speaks of the " house of
Isaac," not long before Israel's banishment, and after
they had separated themselves from the house of David.
It is very remarkable that the name of Sacce is not
applied by any classic historians or geographers to any
tribe of the Scythians until some time subsequent to
the exile of the house of Isaac. For the research
into the links of connexion between the Sacoe and
ourselves, the Saxons, we must refer our readers to
further particulars in the above-named volume, and
then to the wondrous 37th chapter of Ezekiel, — the
"joining of the stick of Judah and of Ephraim,"
over which a light will then begin to dawn, which may
soon increase to full daylight.
But Dr. Perkins, and Grant, and Stoddard, and
others in the bright roll of American names, had their
mission to the Nestorian Christians, to the descend-
ants of that remnant of Israel who remained in Assyria
376 THE NESTORIAN CHRISTIANS.
— the " remnant according to the election of grace" —
spoken of by Paul in the ] 1 th of the Romans, to whom
he alludes as connected with the rest of his people, in
his defence before King Agrippa in Acts xxvi. 7, " Unto
which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God
day and night, hope to come;" and to whom the Epistle
of James is addressed : " To the twelve tribes which
are scattered abroad, greeting." They are greeted as
brethren, and their faith in Christ is commended ; there-
fore they must have become Christians in the first cen-
tury. James, the Bishop of Jerusalem, addresses many
of these Jewish converts as having backslidden, and
dedicates to them his practical Epistle.
The Nestorian Christians inhabit the same district of
Adiabene as was occupied by converted Israel ; and
Nestorian churches and prelates have flourished in an
uninterrupted succession in the same places where they
were founded by the Apostles among these Israelites.
The Jews assert very positively that the Nestorians
were converted from Judaism to Christianity imme-
diately after the death of Christ, and the marvellous
history of the Nestorian Missions in the East, com-
mencing with that of the Apostle Thomas to India
and to China,* continuing through thirteen centuries,
testifies to the same fact, although their extent has been
very indistinctly appreciated, because lost in the sub-
sequent clouds of Romanist Missionary efforts, and we
may also add their fables.
* That he visited these regions is the constant tradition of the
NESTORIAN TABLET. 377
The tablet of Scg-nan-foo* dug up in 1625, relit the
torch of history on this point ; and for a generation past,
as we have said, America's chosen sons, with our Eng-
lish language, but acquiring for their Missionary purpose
the ancient and modern Syriac, — the former being the
language used by our Lord Himself, — have opened the
old conduits, like Mr. Layard among the rock sculptures
of Bavian, and restored to this ancient of ancients,
among the churches, the refreshing stream of the " water
of life," in a tongue that its children would understand.
They had not, like the Karens, lost their book utterly.
They had no printed books ; but they possessed, says
Dr. Perkins, a few rare manuscripts of almost all the
Bible, rolled up and hid away in secret places in their
churches, to keep them from the ravages of the Moham-
medans. Some of the copies are very venerable, written
with the nicest care on parchment, and dating back to
the period of England's Magna Charta. They are
mostly found among the wild mountains, from which
some tribes of the Nestorians descended three centuries
since to the more genial plains of Oroomiah.
From those original districts, where they still abide
as the Protestants of Asia, they sent forth their mis-
sions to the East and North, the traces of which remain
to this day. They were doubtless undertaken to China
and India from the knowledge that people of their own
kindred were known to be in those countries, though
they never reached the Karens, or they would have
* In the province of Shensi. See " Book and its Story," cheap
edition, "China,"page 385. Also, "TheNestorianChurch,"page431.
378 LAMPS IN DARK VILLAGES.
told them of Jesus ; and now their self-sacrificing devo-
tion in past ages is richly repaid in the outpouring of
the Holy Spirit on their children. Scarcely a score of
the priests could read their own MSS. when Dr. Per-
kins reached them, and not one woman. Now there are
3,000 intelligent readers of the Bible, and every reader,
child or adult, is an independent lamp in his dark village,
neighbourhood, or household.
The thought of making the children who are educated
in Bible knowledge " lamps " in the heathen villages,
is fraught with instruction. Let us remember the happy
Missionary Karen girls, and make similar use of our own
English girls in country villages. There are girls con-
nected with every Bible class and mothers' class in
London, who might be Bible-readers. Mrs. Porter, who
has long been engaged in Missionary schools at Cudda-
pah, Madras, assures us that allured by the singing of a
child, in its own village, of some part of " The sweet
Story of Old/' and then by its reading of the New
Testament, a native woman came forty miles to hear.
Perhaps the girls in our village schools would be very
different when they leave them, had they been so
taught in the Scriptures that they could teach again, for
the word of the Lord would never return unto Him
void, but shall prosper in the thing whereto He sent it.
Immediately that the Nestoriaxs, like the Karens,
had received in their own tongue the wonderful words
of God, — ever sacred in their memories, — they, too, rose
in the scale of nations. " "When I commenced," says
Dr. Perkins, "reducing the language of the Nestorians
THE MOUNTAIN MISSIONARIES. 6 t 9
to writing, I early observed that there were no words in
that language for icife, and home. Why not ? Because
the things signified did not exist among the people.
Woman and house were the nearest approximations."
" In all their social and domestic usages, woman
was the down-trodden slave, and man the tyrant lord.
Mothers and sisters, among these fallen Christians, were
not accustomed to eat with their husbands and brothers
when we first went among them ; they must serve and
then take the remnants, if any there were; but the
revival of pure Christianity has elevated woman to her
proper dignity and place."
The girls return from the Missionary Schools to their
mountain homes in Tyari to teach and bless their kin-
dred. " We have enjoyed," says the same Missionary,
" seasons of most affecting interest in giving instructions
to those young brethren and sisters on sending them
forth to their distant posts of toil and self-sacrifice — as
we had ourselves left the endearments of America to
come to dark and far-off Persia.
u I now recall one such young married couple, who
have long been located in a deep gorge of those central
mountains which are the home of thousands of Nes-
torians, where the lofty encircling ranges limit the
rising and setting of the sun to ten o'clock a.m. and
two p.m. most of the year ; where the towering cones
of solid rock, like peering Gothic spires, cast their
pointed shadows from the moonbeams on the sky, as on
a canvas, nay, rear their summits against that canopy
which seems to rest on them as pillars ; and where, in
winter, men must creep around the steep and lofty cliffs
with whispers, lest the sound of their voices by an echo
bring down upon them the terrific avalanche ever ready
to quit its bed at the summons of the slightest jar."
There are many such secluded spots among the lofty
mountains of Koordistan ; and here it is that our intel-
ligent, cultivated young helpers plant themselves as
spiritual watchmen. The most rugged districts of these
mountains are the most populous, as they offer the safest
asylums to the long-persecuted Christians.
Even these secluded districts were, seventeen years
ago, the scene of the massacre of thousands of Nesto-
rians by the ruthless Koords ; and yet now the valleys
thus desolated are again quite as thickly populated as
before. The dreadful barbarities of the Koords, who
tossed infants on their spears, led to their subjugation
and punishment by the Turks, and drove forth the
trembling survivors from their native cliffs and gorges
to come in contact with the people of other nations,
breaking up their entire isolation from the rest of Chris-
tendom in regions where they had clung, as for their
life, to their rare parchment copies of the New Testa-
ment in an ancient unknown tongue, locked up in their
venerable old churches.
The Missionary work among the Nestorians has been
eminently God's work, — " the excellency of the power"
has been very clearly seen to be of God, and not of men.
" Now," says Dr. Perkins, " we have been permitted
to meet at the communion table with hundreds of Nes-
torian brothers and sisters in Christ at the same time ;
THE KARENS. 381
and never, till admitted to the marriage supper of the
Lamb, do I expect to sit in such heavenly places in
Christ Jesus as at these Nestorian communions."
To " Israel" converted of old, and to " Israel"
hidden among the heathen, what if at these two points
America has been honoured to carry the message
which is to make them blossom and bud, and fill the
face of the world with fruit ? " Behold, these shall come
from far : and, lo, these from the north and from the
west ; and these from the land of Sinim." — Isa. xlix. 12.
It is no light thing " to be God's servant to raise up the
tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel."
The 49th of Isaiah is a wondrous prophecy, as relating
to their gathering together.
To return in conclusion to the Karens, as Mrs. Mason
would have us. The Institute for 50 girls, as her
frontispiece will show, is finished, and finished at a
cost of upwards of 11,000 rupees; a self-supporting
normal school for 50 young men is also erected, and
there are 1 40 self-supporting Jungle schools in Toung-
hoo ; but foreign help is still needed in many ways, to
the provision of which it is hoped the reading of this
little book will conduce. If native preachers, school
teachers, and Bible-readers are to be sent forth, their
support of £10 a-year must at first be guaranteed;
and help, as we have seen, must often be afforded to
them and their families in times of distress, famine,
and sickness. Teachers go out hitherto without any
stated salary, taking just what the people can give them.
Mrs. Mason's visit to America issued in the estab-
382 KAREN BIBLE-WOMEN.
lishment at Philadelphia of a Woman's Union Mis-
sionary Society for Heathen Lands, whose object it
is to send out and sustain single ladies to raise up and
superintend native Bible-women and School Teachers.
They have already raised £4?Q0 for this purpose.
Of the fund for Mrs. Mason's use, entrusted to the
Secretary of the London Bible and Domestic Female
Missions, she took with her on her return i?70, as
the salary for one year of seven Karen Bible- woman,
and £52 likewise was placed at her disposal for inci-
dental expenses and appliances in starting the missions.
She writes that the idea has already taken effect, and
that she found four Bible-women at work in Rangoon
under fit superintendence, but needing pecuniary help ;
and she adds, " I am daily asking God for means to sup-
ply the native Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses each
with a new Karen Bible (cost 6s.), which they are long-
ins; for more than meat and drink. AVill not England
do this for the Karens, and increase and multiply the
Bible-readers both for the Burmese and the Shans."
" The Shans are even a more interesting race than
the Burmese. They are the merchant princes (like the
Armenians) of Burmah. They come down to its sea-
ports every year from the mountains, bringing precious
stones, Chinese cloths, nice lacquered boxes, silver-
hafted knives, sugar, stick lac, and spades. No Mis-
sionary ever dwelt among them ; once a Karen teacher
visited for about six months, among the hundreds who
pitch their tents in Tounghoo, and they have, ever
since, inquired fur their friend ' Sahya.'
WOMAN IN BU11MAII. 383
" I once met a large company of them on the plains.
I thought the women exceedingly beautiful. They are
a broken nation like the Karens, no longer having a
king of their own, but paying tribute to foreigners, and
they seem to feel their degradation deeply. In the
cities they are Buddhists, but Buddhism is not their
native religion. The women might probably first be
willing to receive the Gospel, for among the Karens
they have generally been the first to come forward — first
to receive the teachers — and first to renounce their
" Woman is the educator of Burmah, and, strange to
say, she carries on the chief business and trade of the
country. It is she who, at present, tramples on the
'white book/ and gives her son the palm-leaf; who
teaches the toddling child to tug its dress full of sand
up-hill every night to the pagcfda. She also excites dis-
cord, fans rebellion, and overturns dynasties. She can
and she will rise. Teach her to rise towards God, and
let us do it ere it is too late. An aged Burmese said
to me, ' Don't tell me ; I can't learn your prayer ;
I'm too old. Your Jesus doesn't know me. I've
worshipped Guadama. I've done good. I've fed the
priests. I've built a kyoung. If I take another reli-
gion now, I shall fall between the two. No, no ; let
me alone. I'm an old woman ; if I'm lost, I'm lost.
Had I heard when I was young, I might have believed,
but Loonbie Loonbie, too late, too late."
" ' All is dark/ murmured another citron woman ;
' we know nothing ; we are lost in the jungle.'
384 BURMAII IS THINKING.
" After reading to her, for a third time, a tract to
which she seemed to give ear, we thought she appeared
indifferent. Feeling sad, I arose, and inquired if she
desired Christians to visit her no more.
" ' No teacheress,' she exclaimed, with emphasis ; ' /
" Oh, how often have these words brought comfort !
When the cold ' Go !' has met us — when the laugh of
derision has rung after us — when traversing mountains
and burning sands, with blistered feet — when we have
sunk weary on the threshold of home, then it has echoed
in our ear, ' Bunnah is thinking !' and when, in Chris-
tian lands, we have met the nerveless hand, the cold
eye, the heartless tone, then came again the echo —
' Burmaii is thinking!'
Christian friends! England must help Burmah and
her Karen mountaineers.
Subscriptions in favour of Mrs. Mason's general work
will be received for her at Messrs. Ransom's, Bankers, 2,
Pall Mall, and by Messrs. Nisbet, Berners Street. Those
intended especially for her Schools can be remitted to
Miss Webb, Secretary of the Female Education Society,
15, Shaftesbury Crescent, Pimlico, S. W. ; and those for
Bibles and Bible-women for Touxghoo, to Mrs.Ranyard,
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Printed by M. S. Rickerby, Hand Court, Upper Thames Street. E. C.
THE MISSING LINK; or, Bible-Women in the
Homes of the London Poor.
By L. N. R. Small crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth. Also, a cheaper
Edition, Is. 6d. cloth limp.
"This little Book of wbioh upwards of 40,000 copies have now teen
circulated in this country, is the illustrative exponent of a Mission com-
menced in London five years sin<'e, showing how we may take op tiie
PEOPLE TO MEND THEMSELVES, as Well as HELP THEM TO HELP THEM-
SELVES. Surprising as it may seem, it has been proved that as au
instrument of civilization— an instrument fur working out domestic and
social reform, there is nothing like the Bible."
LIFE-WORK ; or, The Link and the Rivet.
By L. N. R. Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. cloth.
•' A volume, supplementary to 'The Missing Link,' has just been pub-
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THE BOOK AND ITS STORY.
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THE BOOK AND ITS MISSION.
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and Domestic Female Mission,' [See the ' Missing Link,' and ' Life-
Work,'] and keeps its subscribers acquainted with their current affairs.
It is, therefore, strongly recommended to those who are following out the
principles of these Missions in town or country. The Missions of the Book
AEttOAD are included in its pages, as well as those at home."
MEMORIALS OF JOHN BOWEN, D.C.L., late
Bishop of Sierra Leone.
Compiled from his Letters and Journal by his Sister. Post
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THE LIFE OF THE REV. RICHARD KNILL,
of St. Petersburg.
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BRIEF MEMORIALS of the REV. ALPHONSE
FRANCOIS LACROIX, Missionary of the London
Missionary Society in Calcutta.
By his Son-in-Law, Rev. Joseph MULLENS, Missionary of the
same Society. Crown 8vo., 5s. cloth.
" These memorials are among the most interesting records of Missionary
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" English Hearts and English Hands." Crown 8vo.,
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" It would be difficult to imagine a more beautiful and touching story
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MEMOIR of the LIFE and BRIEF MINISTRY of
the REV. DAVID SANDEMAN, Missionary to
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RAGGED HOMES, AND HOW TO MEND
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EVENINGS WITH JOHN BUNYAN ; or, The
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MISSIONARY SKETCHES IN NORTHERN
INDIA ; with some Reference to recent Events.
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"THE OMNIPOTENCE OF LOVING-KIND-
NESS : " being a Narrative of the Results of a Lady's
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CONFERENCE ON MISSIONS HELD IN I860
Including the Papers read and the Conclusions reached : with
a comprehensive Index showing the various matters
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THE ROMANCE OF NATURAL HISTORY.
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THE WANDERINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF
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